Having written chapters for both stages of Liverpool's European Capital of Culture bid, I know how rigorous the judging process has been.
Detailed questions had to be answered in the bid documents, there were two judging panel visits and there was further interrogation of Sir Bob Scott and other senior representatives.
The competition from other shortlisted cities was tough and they are now all to be Centres of Culture. The definition of culture expected by the judging panel was, rightly, broad in scope: high and low culture;
inclusive, not exclusive.
Culture is also now well recognised as an integral element of urban regeneration, which all the bids will inevitably have reflected.
Apart from the many qualities and ambitions outlined in our bid, Liverpool is renowned for outstanding architecture. This is recognised in its huge number of listed buildings and recent success as the UK's nomination as a World Heritage Site (for the waterfront and other building groups related to its maritime heritage). Well-known architectural journalists, including Jonathan Glancey, Kenneth Powell and Deyan Sudjic, have written ecstatically about the city's buildings, and it is regularly used as a historic or capital city backdrop for films, including Moscow and Dublin. A Pevsner guide to Liverpool architecture is also due to be published next year.
The city has never pretended to be like Florence; it has unique qualities of its own. However, it has been described as the 'Venice of the north'. It is time for Mr Adul (AJ 19.6.03) to revisit Liverpool - and, indeed, all the competing cities - as his knowledge appears to be out of date.
Sue Carmichael, principal, Constructive Futures, Liverpool