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Urban doubts

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Despite the warmish welcome given to the government's Urban White Paper, doubts about whether it will cut the mustard continue to surface. Before Christmas, Lord Rogers (whose Urban Task Force report was the basis for the government's policy document) announced that he was quitting the government's urban villages advisory group, run by English Partnerships. Presumably this is not because all is perfect at the Greenwich Millennium Village, or at Allerton Bywater, two developments intended to show us the way to bright new urban futures. Since the group had not met for nine months (honestly), it seemed reasonable for Lord Rogers to walk, especially given his new responsibilities with Ken Livingstone's Greater London Authority. After the row over Newcastle's regeneration plan, where the Richard Rogers Partnership (RRP) has been underwhelmed by the council's response to its proposals, it looks as though a lot more effort is needed to get the regeneration show on the road. One man who is not afraid to say so is Anthony Mayer, chief executive of the GLA, and deputy chairman of the Rogers Task Force (see next item).

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