22 February 2008 from Building Design
Journalist and author Simon Jenkins has launched a broadside against architects, accusing them of being behind a drive to use the planning system to litter the country with unpopular “iconic” buildings.
“Town planning has always been stupid. It’s always been led by architects and construction”
Simon JenkinsSpeaking to BD as he prepared to deliver the Royal Town Planning Institute’s annual lecture on Wednesday night, Jenkins said the “stupid” and “neophiliac” planning system was run by a coterie of architects and construction industry professionals who had managed to convince politicians of the validity of their iconic building agenda at the expense of existing buildings.
“Town planning has always been stupid,” Jenkins said. “It’s always been led by architects and the construction industry [who have a] vested interest in tearing apart existing settlements and building new ones, but usually building new ones as iconic buildings rather than neighbourhoods, because that’s where the money and the glory is.”
He continued: “The concepts of the sustainable community and renewable, recyclable buildings and eco-cities are almost all just as stupid as the mistakes that were made before.”
Citing campaigns he had participated in, including the preservation of London markets such as Covent Garden and Spitalfields, he said that the general public were “instinctively being good planners” by choosing to congregate where old buildings exist.
But RIBA vice president Jack Pringle, who clashed with Jenkins in June when the two staged a debate over whether architects had learned the lessons of the sixties, dismissed Jenkins’ comments.
He said: “The best architects appreciate more than anybody else the value of listing buildings and the historic infrastructure.”
So Jack Pringle must be referring to Edinburgh Favourite Allan "I am an Urbanist not a Architect" Murray, then??
Save Our Old Town Campaign Website www.eh8.org.uk