Generation London Can London be Both Big and Beautiful? How can a Boomtown be green? 2012 wish list: What Is London a United City? Debate Forum Book Tickets


Edited by Kieran Long

what would baudrillard think?
This past Sunday the city of Madrid staged a faux London flea market modelled after Portobello Road and Camden Lock. The event attracted over 50,000 shoppers, according to this article, and included a mix of tradit... Read More
Posted by: Jaffer Kolb on 28/06/07

youth and politics
Today the Guardian published a comment by Zoe Williams on Sunday's Generation London debate. The piece focussed on the issues of youth and political apathy. Williams argues that rather than e... Read More
Posted by: Jaffer Kolb on 28/06/07

violence and the city
Today the London Paper reported the stabbing of a teenager in Islington, part of a "spate of murders of young people in the capital over recent months". One of the more interesting points of contention during Read More
Posted by: Jaffer Kolb on 27/06/07

can london be both big and beautiful?
Despite an audible ripple of disappointment when it was announced that both Rem Koolhaas and Janet Street-Porter would be absent from last night's final debate, the evening was both argumentative and stimulating. The central theme, on whether London could be both big and beautiful, focused on new development and the city's growing population. Paul Finch, editor of the Architectural Review and host... Read More
Posted by: Jaffer Kolb on 26/06/07

can a boomtown be green?

Last night's debate about ecology was focussed, heartfelt and perhaps a little more relaxed than the night before, with everyone in the room feeling more or less clearly that London needs to get its house in order on climate change.

Londoners in general appear to think so, too, according to Ben Page of MORI, who again came up with some relevant stats. 57% of us worry about climate chan... Read More
Posted by: Kieran Long on 26/06/07


what do we want for london?

A very healthy crowd turned out for last night's debate: 2012 Wishlist: What Do You Want For London? An impressive and diverse list of contributors found itself dealing with some of the fundamental questions regarding the future of London's built environment.

The evening was prefaced by pollster Ben Page of MORI/IPSOS telling us what Londoners think about their city. We are conservativ... Read More
Posted by: Kieran Long on 24/06/07


watch the debates in the videos section
The debates are now up and running, but if you were unlucky enough to miss the two so far, you can watch highlights in our Videos section.... Read More
Posted by: Kieran Long on 24/06/07

was ours a united panel?
Last night's opening debate, Is London A United City?, was a great kick-off to Debate London. The panelists—Boris Johnson, Neal Lawson, Lynsey Hanley, Ivan Massow, Tony Travers and Emma Peters—presented a diverse and largely bifurcated set of views addressing the rampant economic inequality that has ... Read More
Posted by: Jaffer Kolb on 23/06/07

the complexity of diversity
Social scientist and geographer Doreen Massey has contributed a terrific article on the obfuscation of multiculturalism and globalization. The two terms, so often misunderstood, actual bear tremendous significance in situating London in a set of global interactions. Massey argues that London (and i... Read More
Posted by: Jaffer Kolb on 22/06/07

in conversation
We've just posted two interviews. In the first, I speak with David Adjaye about what London offers architects today versus when he began his career over a decade ago. According to Adjaye, London's moment of dynamism and transformation has passed and the rising star is moving above the city's con... Read More
Posted by: Jaffer Kolb on 21/06/07

prime minister assesses new architecture in london!
This week the shortlist for the 2007 Prime Minister's Better Public Building Award was announced. The 17 projects selected represent a predictable array of the bold, the beautiful and the responsible. While the group of projects are geographically diverse across the UK, six were from London.

Curiously four of these were ... Read More
Posted by: Jaffer Kolb on 21/06/07


we need to reassess new architecture in london

Financial Times critic Edwin Heathcote has just sent us this a striking indictment of new architecture in London. From Palimpsests to the superficiality of green architecture, few large-scale developments escape the criticisms levelled at a generation of architecture that both ignores and refuse... Read More
Posted by: Jaffer Kolb on 21/06/07


pragmatism and the smoking ban

There's an interesting debate surrounding banning outdoor heaters in light of July 1's smoking ban. Ken Livingstone has just weighed in, agreeing with Friends of the Earth that the devices are "pl... Read More
Posted by: Jaffer Kolb on 21/06/07


fighting for visibility

Developing the South Bank of the Thames continues to spark considerable debate for Londoners. Rob Gregory has written us a helpful reminder of what London's south side is and what it can be, without looking north for inspriation and validation. He outlines some of the more contentious developmen... Read More
Posted by: Jaffer Kolb on 21/06/07


global cities
The Tate Modern's newest exhibition, Global Cities, has just opened in its Turbine Hall. The exhibition is staged over two floors in a structure designed specifically for the show, and includes not only selected data and themes from last year's 10th International Architecture Biennial in Venice but also a host o... Read More
Posted by: Jaffer Kolb on 21/06/07

read the articles
We are now just one day away from the first debate at Tate Modern, but before that, do take a few minutes to check out the brilliant articles section, which is now chock full of opinion on subjects from planning to the Read More
Posted by: Kieran Long on 20/06/07

building better communities?

On June 14, the government-sponsored Commission on Integration and Cohesion(CIC) published this report, ten years after New Labour established the Social Exclusion Unit and first began waving the banner of cohesion. Interestingly, the report sit... Read More
Posted by: Jaffer Kolb on 20/06/07


the value of bureaucracy

Isabel Allen, former editor of The Architects' Journal, has written for us a thoughtful, funny description of the woes of building in London. Planning permissions, English Heritage, and community groups represent only some of the treacherou... Read More
Posted by: Jaffer Kolb on 20/06/07


the overground and integrated transport
As a dedicated cyclist, I'll probably get some flack for potential empirical inaccuracies here, but the Mayor of London's announcement yesterday of an Overground Rail network is certainly worth a mention. London's rail system can be an impenetrable web comprising innumerable operators all running on slig... Read More
Posted by: Jaffer Kolb on 20/06/07

the city in numbers

Coinciding with Debate London, The Evening Standard put together a poll asking almost 2000 Londoners about prominent issues facing life in the city. The results were released earlier this week, and on Monday Channel 4 published Read More
Posted by: Jaffer Kolb on 20/06/07


blueprint for london
With all the changes London is presently undergoing, not to mention those that the future holds, the role of architects to create new mechanisms, typologies, and infrastructure to meet new social and climatic needs is increasingly paramount to the profession.

In collaboration with the Architecture Foundation, ... Read More
Posted by: Jaffer Kolb on 20/06/07


designing the white city
Rem Koolhaas will participate in Saturday’s 2012 Wish List debate, which is great. This got us thinking: how will the architect shape London in the next five years? Excluding the inevitable mass of projects he’ll likely be offered between now and then, we’re reminded of his Read More
Posted by: Jaffer Kolb on 19/06/07

natural born leaders
I have contributed an essay to Debate London comparing the mayors of London and New York. New York has long had strong mayors, a model which has been adopted and emulated by numerous other cities over the years given the city's apparent success. Ken Livingstone is London's answer, and, given his co... Read More
Posted by: Jaffer Kolb on 19/06/07

not that we needed another reminder
Today the Telegraph published the Mercer's Cost of Living Survey results, which placed London at the top of their list of the world's most expensive cities. Moscow, somewhat s... Read More
Posted by: Jaffer Kolb on 19/06/07

london's heritage: the big here and the long now
In this eloquent brief, director of planning at English Heritage Steven Bee tells us how heritage is as much about looking forward as looking back. Furthermore we must rely on using the full potential of technological advances and contemporary thought to not only preserve London's physical space, ... Read More
Posted by: Jaffer Kolb on 19/06/07

the young gourmands of islington

Today the Guardian ran this piece on the pairing of the Duke of Cambridge, an Islington-based gastro-pub and the local Thornhill primary school. While few out there are convinced of the nutrition and general quality of school dinners, it's hard to imagine this is what Jamie Oliver had in mind with hi... Read More
Posted by: Jaffer Kolb on 18/06/07


subverting the capital
Karsten Huneck has contributed a great article describing the work of his Office of Subversive Architecture (osa). While many architects bemoan the lack of design opportunities in "built-out" London, osa continues to find witty and creative opportunities to erect temporary follies, including a te... Read More
Posted by: Jaffer Kolb on 18/06/07


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Debate London is organised by The Architecture Foundation Charity Registration no.1006361
The Architecture Foundation is funded by Arts Council England www.architecturefoundation.org.uk