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What is going on over brownfields?

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Having just read in the Observer that Norman Foster is giving the government independent advice on brownfield site development, as well as commissioning a big report from the Richard Rogers taskforce, does anyone know what is really going on?

Apparently it's ok for Fletcher Priest to develop a 'greenfield' site for Vodafone, and it's marvellous to see the new Bluewater out-of-town shopping park, and everybody agrees that whatever else happens, we will need some housing development on greenbelt land.

I notice that not a single voice has been raised in opposition to Martin Pawley's attack on the whole brownfield philosophy (aj 1.4.99), and it is tempting to think that, secretly or otherwise, the architectural profession knows that the band-aid solution of propping up ailing cities and their defunct suburbs is a waste of time. Perhaps we could take that as a starting point, and start contributing some real ideas about what should happen next.

Helen Fielder

London SW18

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