A city can be thought of as a conversation in built form. Just as a conversation is not a string of words, a city is not a collection of buildings and artifacts. A city embodies the sum-total of the activities of the people who live and work there, which includes built form and space. A living city cannot be created by ‘design’.
We are in grave danger of losing this conversation to a form of financial speculative development. The main strategy is to harvest un-earned profit by re-zoning open space or, in the city centre, pushing the height. Architects and others are hired to provide the ‘design’ element. Even where there may be some merit in the design, it can be abandoned at implementation. There are numerous examples which I will not discuss in this short post.
Is there a way to return this conversation to the ordinary citizens of the city?