Posts Tagged ‘architecture’

The UK riots: can we really blame architects?

17/10/2011

In August this year, sporadic rioting took place in cities up and down the country, starting in London and quickly spreading north to Liverpool and Manchester. The rioting progressed from a reactionary ‘protest’, to opportunistic looting and vandalism. And so began a short-lived stint of national soul searching, asking why and how, before moving swiftly onto who: other than the perpetrators themselves, who is to blame? Parents, our deficit-cutting government, social networks, and even the bankers were amongst the first to be held responsible, until urban planners, designers and architects were once again put under the spotlight.

Riots

Looting of a Primark store in Peckham, South London

As the rioting moved north from London, Building.co.uk contributor Ike Ijeh highlighted the correlation between society and architecture in his article The UK Riots: Is Architecture Irrelevant? Architects, he says, “have a clear social responsibility to improve the built environment and nourish a collective sense of citizenship and community.” But can we really blame architects, urban planners or designers? (more…)

“Designing out crime”, street furniture and soft landscaping

17/10/2011

Urban designers have the tricky task of balancing security with civic life. Creative product design can help. In the right hands, innovative products make public spaces safer by weighting them against antisocial behaviour and more serious crime. And they can do so without creating bristling, draconian, fortress towns.

Security versus liberty

In the process of reconciling urban planning theory with urban planning practice, “events” have a knack of interfering – a point made in our post looking at this summer’s riots in the UK.

Similarly, Vancouver’s Director of City Planning, Brett Toderian, recently explained how the events of 9/11 led at the time to a familiar urban planning dilemma, writ large:

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Brilliant bridges – UK engineering

12/09/2011

If someone asked you to pick your favourite bridge in the world which one would you pick? The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia or maybe you would pick something a little closer to home?

Companies throughout the UK have been producing stunning, technologically advanced bridges for hundreds of years, from The Iron Bridge in Coalsbrookedale, to more modern constructions such as the Gateshead Millennium Bridge. Infact, you could say that the UK has been a leader in bridge construction and design since the Victorian era.

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