“Welcome to ‘Superbia’” (more news on suburbs)

November 16, 2006

Dear all, note the following comments made by Jon Rouse, and others “A government boss signalled the end of the urban renaissance this week with a landmark speech attacking the ‘urban cognoscenti’ and lauding the suburbs as the natural home of the British.”

http://www.europaconcorsi.com/db/rec/inbox.php?id=13589

The (lack of) quality of the debate is breathtaking.

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3 Responses to ““Welcome to ‘Superbia’” (more news on suburbs)”

  1. SG Says:

    Hmmm ‘Suburbia is crap’ – the architects are giving us some choice quotations!

    This unconstructive dialogue points out not only how sensitive the issue of ‘suburbia’ is in general but also how research in this area risks being pigeon-holed by urban design professionals and the public at large as contributing to a ‘post urban renaissance backlash’ – which is rubbish.

    It seems that SSTC must position itself clearly as addressing particular areas of urban life that were relatively neglectd by the Urban Taskforce but which nevertheless aspire to the wider project of ‘urban renaissance’ albeit with different emphases.

    I don’t know much about Mr Rouse but we don’t want to be portrayed as apologists for the government’s housing strategy for southern England!

  2. liora4 Says:

    I agree about not wanting to be defending the government’s housing strategy.

    The reported comments also suggest that there is a divide between suburbs and urban areas. This is another barrier to clear thinking which we will need to address in our research.

  3. mukih Says:

    I think that the following citation is a good one:
    ‘Suburbs are the lost children of public policy and no-one is allowed to talk about them. But actually, most people live in them,’ said Williams. ‘There’s a feeling that most of the public policy tools we have been using in the last few years have led to an over-emphasis on flatted development and we need to roll back.’

    On the upside, this is just very good for us – I see a lot of opportunities here to introduce clear thinking into the debate – I hope that some of this will emerge from the literature review. I think that a good paper in which we can discuss the concept of the subrub and its role will be a very good outcome.


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