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Tear-free planning

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Thirty years ago next week, the idea of 'Non-Plan' was launched in the magazine New Society by Peter Banham, Cedric Price, Peter Hall and Paul Barker. Highly influential in different ways, it is now being anlaysed by new faces like Jonathan Hughes and Simon Sadler - who are editing a book on the subject for the Architectural Press, to appear shortly - and by Barker himself. He is writing a long essay on Non-Plan and how cities grow for this summer's issue of the Journal of Design History. It will be interesting to see how writers reconcile, for example, the development at Canary Wharf (an example of what can spring out of a planning-free enterprise zone) with the massive public expenditure required to make it all work (roads, tube lines, tax exemptions etc). Astragal has an explanation as to how this all works, to be elaborated at a later date. It is called Cock-Up.

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