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Rogers hits out at planners' attitudes to high-rise blocks

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Planners have handled tall buildings in an 'appalling way', Lord Rogers told the Greater London Authority last week.

London needed to look more closely at clusters of high- and low-rise blocks and green spaces, said Lord Rogers, London mayor Ken Livingstone's chief adviser on architecture and urbanism.

He told the GLA's green spaces investigative committee: 'We have handled our tall buildings in an appalling way. We put one up, say 'it is terrible, and don't build another one', then we go and build another one two miles away. If you look elsewhere you get clusters of buildings and green spaces but that hasn't been our tradition, and we should look at it.'He added: 'There's an English tradition of low buildings usually around parks, and I think that's important. But the most exciting park is New York's Central Park which is the opposite and dramatic.'

London's Broadgate development was a good example of holistic design, he said. 'It has an ice rink and a high standard of buildings and open spaces that offer a good return to the people there.'

Historically, Islington and Notting Hill were good neighbourhood hubs, but there were few contemporary examples, he said, defining a hub as an urban pocket with a diversity of open spaces and buildings.

Lord Rogers also promoted the idea of treeplanting in the capital, pointing out that a recent analysis of house prices in Chicago showed that homes on tree-lined streets sell for 17 per cent more than those without. His ambition was to plant one million trees in London, he told the committee.

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