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The taming of our cities must be questioned

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The likelihood that Frank Lloyd Wright was never appreciated for his planning aspirations is exactly the same as for Christopher Wren and Le Corbusier.

Like so many others they produced good individual buildings but were possibly offbeam when it came to town planning (Martin Pawley, AJ 17.1.02).

Everybody has a dream, even Pawley, especially when it comes to urbanism and new towns. If he could find the answers via their contributions, he would certainly produce the bestseller of all time.

The consensus is surely that great architects' vision does not go beyond themselves and their ego; they therefore cannot fully extend their talent to a whole town of people and its workings.

This applies to some architectural journalists too, I think, in so much as some plots cannot be manipulated.

New York apartments were already a landmark when Frank Lloyd Wright was pushing his pen in other directions and despite the fact the Americans were never short of space they still built upwards, all in his time.

Most cities that have grown organically can suffer obsolescence and still exist modestly because they have natural roots, but the Milton Keynes mentioned is in a state of reparation already after just 30 years. It is a concept town solely, in a sense like Brasilia or Canberra, a oneoff that can never solve the problem of urbanisation as we know it.

Not even Wimbledon FC could possibly make it a success.

Flat and featureless or skyhigh does not fit the character of most British towns and is more a characteristic of America.

Our characteristics are still predominately urban and rural, and great architects concepts of taming the landscape must always be questionable.

Rex Hawkesworth, Portsmouth

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