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Selective information on urban renaissance plans

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Irena Bauman's comments (AJ 14.3.02) refer selectively to what I said at the '4x4' lecture in Leeds, misleadingly refer to things I did not say, and reflect an inability to understand the processes of the urban renaissance programme at Yorkshire Forward, reaffirming my view about (some) regional expertise.

On that occasion, as with presentations in Barnsley, Doncaster, Grimsby, Halifax, Huddersfield, Rotherham, Scarborough, Scunthorpe, Wakefield, Hull, Leeds and Sheffield, our work was supported enthusiastically by politicians, business leaders, community representatives and professionals keen to engage positively and unleash unprecedented potential for our long-term strategic, urban quality and community-driven process.

While Irena Bauman chooses to dismiss statutory OJEC notices, her inability to keep up with the mainstream architectural and planning press adds further misfortune to her position. The UK journals were the source through which we announced our urban renaissance process, and through which we identified and appointed our panelists within the region, across the UK and overseas.

Similarly we are assembling a regional panel of expertise through the Regional Urban Alliance, about which there has been public debate, public notices and press coverage, and which was described at the '4x4' gathering. Again Irena Bauman seems to have missed all that.

Meanwhile, our commitment to the region's urban renaissance, without precedent in its innovative character, is attracting admiration across the country. While our urban renaissance panel - comprising the best of regional, national, and international expertise - is developing pioneering ways of working with the region's citizenry, the Town Teams, on our streets and within our communities, in the delivery of long-term urban design strategies.

Yorkshire Forward's worldclass urban renaissance panel is working with local communities through recently formed Town Teams assembled to represent amenity, community, and business interests. Together we are creating long-term environmental, social, and economic strategies built upon rising aspirations and enhanced skills in citizenship and civic leadership.

Alan J Simpson, head of Urban Renaissance, Yorkshire Forward

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