Lyndon Goode is proceeding with its affordable housing workshops in Palestine despite pro-Israeli comments made by the London mayor during a trade mission to the region
Studio founder Simon Goode accompanied London mayor Boris Johnson and the Office of the Quartet (OQ) on a visit to Israel and Palestine this week.
However, Johnson was forced to pull out of a series of planned public events - including attending one of the housing workshops - in the West Bank because of security concerns after he criticised a boycott of Israeli products. The London mayor said advocates of a ban were a ‘bunch of lefty academics’.
It is understood Edward Lister, deputy mayor for policy and planning, attended the housing event in Johnson’s place.
During the three-day mission Goode is leading a series of workshops on sustainable affordable housing within the cities of Hebron, Nablus and Ramallah in the West Bank.
Focusing on affordable housing design and innovative construction techniques, the talks are part of a bid by OQ and the United Nations Development Programme to promote Palestine’s economic development.
According to a press statement from the practice, the programme aims ‘to support the Palestinian people on economic development, rule of law, and improved movement and access, as they build the institutions and economy of a viable and peaceful state in Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.’
Goode said: ‘The Quartet challenged us to consider how housing could be delivered more affordably in this fascinating region, resulting in a variety of flexible and innovative designs that build upon our experience in the UK.
‘As a practice, we enjoy seeing projects from concept through to completion, and have developed a rare ability to look at projects strategically as well as at a detailed scale.’
He added: ‘The collaboration with the Quartet has been hugely successful and will hopefully result in some exceptional built designs over the coming year.’
The Sharek Youth Forum in the West Bank cancelled a planned meeting with the London mayor yesterday afternoon (11 November) after he described boycotters as ‘lefty academics in corduroy jackets’.
Commenting before the visit, Johnson said: ‘We’re heading to a region with enormous potential for stronger links with London. This visit will be a fantastic opportunity to explore the possibilities of building the long-term relationships and partnerships that will create opportunities for our businesses to prosper.’
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