Strategic Views (Supplementary) [10]

Session date: 
July 11, 2001
Question By: 
Trevor Phillips
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
Richard Rogers


It was all going very well until you mentioned skyline. You say it is a mess but I wonder why -- it has always been a mess. The mess that we see in Canaletto may be a different sort of mess than the one we have got now, but the point I want to make really is, it has almost grown organically. What have you in mind to sort it out?

Supplementary To: 


Answer for Strategic Views (Supplementary) [10]

Answer for Strategic Views (Supplementary) [10]

Answered By: 
Richard Rogers

First of all, I think that the skyline during that period was an amazing transition as well, although it was organic in those terms. Then you have to say, what is organic? Is organic a line - which is what it certainly was then - a line for all those who want to build high? Is that organic? What do we mean by organic? We subsidise and regulate our cities whatever we do. We allow people to go to Canary Wharf, and give them tax incentives to go to Canary Wharf. Is that organic or not? So I do not really believe organic. I am saying that our regulations probably have overall not served us well. Which does not mean we should not have views which are protected. We need to rethink what those regulations are and it is difficult not to argue that let us say Chicago which probably has the most dynamic skyline, or maybe New York for example, have got regulations which have stopped them from developing. They are organic and they have dynamic skylines. I am not saying London should have this but we fall between the two stools. We neither have a free market situation which might be argued to be the American way which I am certainly not pro, nor do we have a regulated situation which is like Paris. We stand somewhere between and the result of that decision is we have a very poor skyline.