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We should delight in, not bemoan, architecture's invention and imagination


So you support ideas and imagination, Paul? Is that all there is to it? No better or worse ideas? No analysis or critique? What a simple world you pretend to live in - 'just say yes'. But you don't live in that world, do you Paul? You're simulating. In fact your entire posture is just a smear against those who analyze and critique projects you like, like the Garden Bridge. This is readily admitted by proponents as not really expected to function as a bridge (try reading the Transport case or the Business case), but it will function as a visitor attraction (in an area heaving with visitor attractions) which will apparently bring benefit by creating an uplift in land values to the north and south of 5% (which is exactly what we don't need in those areas). It is inordinately expensive (Mill bridge £22m; Nine Elms proposals £40m; Garden Bridge £175m), and will cost the public purse £60m in capital and £3.5m per year (the exact amount being extracted from Kew Gardens' grant). Oh, and £20m of public money has been spent on PR and consultants at extreme and irresponsible risk (given that they can't even get a lease on the land to build the bridge on) despite there being no strategic transport or regeneration need (in the London Plan or the Mayor's Transport Plan), but simply because of lobbying and private conversations by mates who stand to make a shedload of money, and because the Mayor encouraged TfL to bend procurement to such an extent that the resultant audit had to be fiddled. This goes against everything CABE preached when it comes to developing projects. But to point this out is 'moaning', 'relentless negativity'? In fact you, Paul, are the negative one, pouring your hyper-scorn on reasoned critical judgements rather than engaging with the convocation of problematic issues identified by an increasingly sceptical public. And it looks to many of us that it is this - the fact that you have backed a loser - that really gets your goat and generates your force ten gale of bad breath.

Posted date

1 November, 2015

Posted time

6:55 am