Tuesday 8 July 2008 10.14pm
Re: today's story about Nick Clegg visiting the Lido on Union Street
Now, I can see the Lido from my window and have been watching its progress steadily for several weeks. So how come I knew nothing about this debate? Why weren't local residents invited if, as Clegg says, "Shared space is vital in fostering the bonds that create happy communities," and that communities need "to get more involved in participatory planning processes."
Incidentally, I think the Lido is lovely and fun, but at no point were we invited to participate in creating it. Which rather negates the supposed purpose of the Lido, which is, in Clegg's words about encouraging "participatory planning". To quote him, it's "Not just coming up with an idea and asking communities if they like it. But actually engaging them at an early stage in developing the whole concept of what is to be built, and how it will work."
We weren't even asked if we liked the idea of the Lido - it was just foisted upon us. I have nothing against this project by EXYZT (a French collective with no prior connection, so far as we know, to SE1). But it annoys me tha the first we knew about the Lido was being invited to a barbecue there after they had started building it - how community minded of them!
Sorry, but the whole London Festival of Architecture
thing leaves a sour taste in my mouth - it just seems to be about branding the area as vibrant and creative - in order to ramp up land prices for the landowner. I also wonder where the funding for this type of thing comes from - involves a fair wodge of tax payers' money, no doubt.
Any thoughts, anyone?