Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Making everything nice ... Part Two

Imagine what the world would look like if it were planned by a single mind. Milton Keynes would be my response. The greater part of the pleasure of being a stroller through a city is the constant contrast, the layered nature of buildings, sudden contradictions and complexity; what one might call 'experience'. None of this is apparent in Milton Keynes, a made to measure new town styled by people for whom living is a constant act of forgetting, like goldfish. But it would be senseless to maintain this absence of what makes city dwelling have some scope for imagination – or a range of responses at all – is not 'what people want'. Many apparently do like ersatz stonework, fake gardening, stainless steel 'street furniture', plate glass vistas and homely multinational corporation Disney-fied nice. Thankfully, some do not.

Previously I wrote that I had read some promising news about those who are resisting the wiping away of every inconvenience or non-corporate worthy (e.g. aged, cracked. eccentric, uncontrolled happenstance) urban space spectacle. I hope this becomes a proper movement, a sort of architectural and shared space version of 'Occupy'. It may happen. As Corporatism spreads, driven by the sense that money and power equals an unstoppable dictatorship endorsed by a lazy, discredited tax system, more of the informal spaces of our cities will drive out those features of urban culture on the fringes that cities have celebrated down the 19th & 20th centuries as effectively as rent increases.

What will be left? Take a glimpse at the future ... (off site link to slideshow)

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