Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

White City shopping centre is no advance

  • Comment
Letters

Regarding your article, 'Standing the conventional shopping centre on its head' (aj 7.1.99): how, exactly?

Popular (architectural) perception states that shopping centres are A Bad Thing while town centres are A Good Thing. While I do not wish to argue why this perception should prevail nor whether it is actually correct, I would ask a number of questions of the proposed White City scheme if, as it is suggested, it represents any advance on shopping-centre design hitherto (and suggest some answers).

Will there be an economically sustainable mix of uses? (No: retail, restaurants, cinema are all just leisure uses. Where are employment or residential uses?)

Will there be an unaccountable security force, prone to evicting citizens deemed unsuitable to enter? (Probably)

Will there be any potential for real change/development over time? (No: not in the urban sense of being able to replace a shop with an office, or an office with a park)

Will there be a perception of a sterile, artificial, monofunctional environment? (Probably)

It seems to me that dogshit, dereliction and drunks have as much to do with the sense of some kind of ongoing civilisation perceived in town centres as do good public transport and Marks & Spencers. Until all can be incorporated, the shopping centre will remain a dinosaur which sucks the life out of surrounding urban centres.

RICHARD LINDLEY

London NW1

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.