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Too much regeneration loses its original vision - Alicia Pivaro

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With the world awash with blogs I am writing this with all the enthusiasm of a Luddite. But, fortunately I am feeling rather jolly

With the world awash with blogs I am writing this with all the enthusiasm of a Luddite. But, fortunately I am feeling rather jolly after recovering from the normal emotional downer that you usually hit in the middle of a project. I have come out the other side with a sense of clarity about what I have been doing for the scholarship and why.

My starting point was that too much regeneration is rather dull and too ‘nice’. I wondered what was missing and have decided that it is really creative thinking about our cities that foregrounds the cultural, soft stuff that makes places great over the physical nitty-gritty. That all too often there is no-one who places passion over pavements in a position of significance around the table – someone who can make the vision for a place fantastic and then have the influence to make it happen. Even the tour de force that is Will Alsop admits that ‘”the most tragic thing that happens in masterplanning is that the vision disappears”.

But I have found some great examples of when good ideas succeed and our new economic climate means that the old ways just won’t do anymore and so things have got to change. It is now about understanding and building upon what exists, making connections and unlocking potential with creativity and sensitivity.

We had our half term holiday in a place that did just this – Watergate Bay in Cornwall. It consists of a few houses, a nice hotel, a car park, an amazing beach, a good café, a sports academy to hire boards and wetsuits etc and Fifteen – a Jamie Oliver restaurant. The beach is the focus and the buildings are basic but each of the bits adds something to the whole and although the businesses are independent they all share a vision for this little place and make everything you experience there rather special.

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