Not only did Liza Fior fail to turn up for our debate – “This house believes that London needs to learn how to play” – organised by RIBA Futures, thus earning the proposers the sympathy vote, but chair Daisy Froud then invited half a dozen speakers supporting the motion to speak from the floor. Seven against two, the odds were stacked against Newham chief planner Clive Dutton and I as we gallantly opposed the motion. Of course London knows how to play, we said, and showed plenty of examples – from 17th century pell mell in St James’s Park to the Pleasure Gardens in the Royal Docks (which will open next week).
Despite the odds being stacked against us, and people blaming us for the Tube running late, as well as not running late enough, we lost the vote by a whisker. My call for a recount fell on deaf ears. but I’m glad to say that Building Futures chairman Dickon Robinson voted in our favour. As I left, I watched a very nice slide show of images from the photo library looking at play in various forms.
Author Hadani Ditmars flew in from Vancouver in time for the launch of her Wallpaper City Guide to her home city at the RIBA Bookshop in Store Street next Tuesday (it coincides with the UKGBC party and the launch of the installation in the Store Street Crescent by Roz Barr). Hadani wrote the acclaimed Dancing in the No-Fly Zone, about post-invasion Iraq, and is an expert on modernism in that benighted country. She is hoping to catch up with Dame Zaha while she’s here to discuss reconstruction.
This morning, the Developing City exhibition in the Walbrook Building hosted a breakfast seminar on the Urban World report by McKinsey & Company. Sixty percent of the world’s new consumers will live in just over 400 emerging market cities by 2025, many of them currently unheard of. The report maps the cities that are growing fastest and identifies which will be the economic powerhouses of the future. Then tonight there is special thank you dinner for the LFA sponsors, partners and workers on top of Jean Nouvel’s One New Change – with great views of St Paul’s and The Shard. Meanwhile, I’m desperately trying to find time to write my speech for tonight and my comments for tomorrow’s discussion on cycling at Grimshaw’s offices, and sort out the route of my Pineapple Tour with Sam Bompas on Sunday. Hope to see you there.
29 June 2012
25 June 2012 | Updated: 27 June 2012 12:54 pm