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George Ferguson: 'Bristol is a laboratory for change'

Newly elected Bristol Mayor George Ferguson has set out his vision for the future of the city at the launch of Bristol: Retrofit City at the NLA

Speaking at an event to mark the transfer of the Architecture Centre’s exhibition Bristol: Retrofit City to London the former RIBA President outlined his plans for the city.

The mayor invited architects to the Bristol to create a ‘laboratory for change’. Championing quality design Ferguson described how, under his leadership, the city would be ‘intolerant of bad architecture’, although he admitted he was ‘perfectly happy to steal from anyone but [didn’t] want [the city] to be like anywhere else’.

Ferguson identified the ‘missing mile’ in Brunel’s historic route from London to New York - between Temple Meads Station and the SS Great Britain - as an area for redevelopment. Highlighting the importance of first impressions he earmarked the empty Sorting Office at the station as a development site that could become Bristol’s ‘Mail Box’.

The city expects to announce plans for a 12,000 capacity arena, that Ferguson hopes to see completed before the end of his first term, and two new stadiums ‘before he is done’.

The exhibition, which focuses on the regeneration work that has taken place in the Bristol, will run until the end of the month.

Bristol: Retrofit City, NLA, The Building Centre, 26 Store Street, London WC1E 7BT, until January 29, free

Readers' comments (1)

  • As a resident of Bristol I can not disagree with anything that George Ferguson has said but I would emphasise what he has not said.

    To that effect this multi millionaires vision rather reminds me of the aristocratic rulers of Paris who required boulevards to improve the lines of fire of their troops against their revolutionary citizenry.

    Not a single word on where ordinary people will live or how they will afford to pay the high rent or how my area of Bristol has more second homes than any national park with its tenants, (on a 6 month tenancy not worth the paper its written on) paying inflated rents to pay for the speculation of their landlord that broke Northern Rock et al. Bristol will build less than 50 houses next year; the term affordable is laughable given the trillion pound subsidy (QE et al) to the private housing sector and its plethora of landlords that dominate the first time buyer market; well George if I had any doubt about voting labour there is none now.

    Where are the poor people to live George? That was the great tradition of philanthropic entrepreneurs of the 19th C ie Cadbury et al; well George you have nt a clue how the other half live and your myopic vision is only relevant to the "Tories in self denial" that voted for you. " George des Culottes Rouges", ie get off your horse, go live in a council house for a month on 74 pounds a week, address the needs of Bristolians, or they will be driven from the city by the wealthy immigrants who are the only people that can afford to live here attracted by your "architecture". That will be your legacy.

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