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Rogers right to design for social betterment

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letters

Martin Pawley (aj 24.2.00) is as clever a writer as Lord Rogers is an architect, no doubt; however that is where any similarity ends, as the difference between the two, I suggest, is that the former has no conscience.

The logic of continual urban expansion is pointless in a small country. The sooner we can direct our attention to urban renewal in the full sense, the sooner we will be able to prevent the extension of squalid environments that in time equate with systematic expansions.

It would be convenient to continue the present trend of more than 200 years, but 'surplus' rural land as he calls it, is just as precious as the real thing.

It would also be convenient and very English to build more semi-detached houses and maintain a tradition that is common to a number of people, but his mention of spacious Georgian terraces being Lord Rogers' privilege seems a trifle unfair and irrelevant. We all like them.

Lord Rogers' conscience no doubt is why he has to address the 'social engineering' aspect as architect and not a politician. Full marks to him for putting his conscience first. Although it may not be palatable for the government to accept Task Force conclusions in full or part, if Lord Rogers can actually put architects in the social engineering category, that in itself would be very worthwhile.

Rex Hawkesworth, Portsmouth

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