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Peckham cry

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Twenty years ago and the Peckham tragedy would have prompted a round of attacks on architects and all their works. This has yet to happen, perhaps a sign that we have all grown up somewhere along the way. The turf wars between the determinists and their opponents, with Oscar Newman and Alice Coleman carrying the flag for the former, now seem a distant memory. We can probably agree by now that it is not architecture which causes crime, but it can give it a helping hand. An analogy is street lighting. Take it away and watch street crime soar; but it is not lighting which is the cause.

Nor are high buildings the problem. In Southwark there is a renewal programme in which high-rise will go (indeed Pollard Thomas Edwards has a £200 million-plus renewal project in north Peckham). But is high-rise really a problem? In west Newcastle, Astragal hears, renewal schemes are demolishing low-rise and leaving the tall blocks - by popular demand.

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