Tuesday 22 December 2009

Shrinking cities versus sustainable cities

A good meeting yesterday with Diana Balmori and her colleague Monica. We talked about a couple of projects that we're pitching on together and about the work we'd done at Creative Concern on place branding and creating a sense of place by working with communities, specifically the Real Lives campaign in Wythenshawe.

After that we talked on the related topic of the 'shrinking cities' concept that gets peddled around by planning academics (particularly a group led by Phillip Oswalt in Germany, who decided to label Manchester as one of their so-called Shrinking Cities). It strikes me that whilst, historically, cities may well have come and go, with the twin-tracks of intense urbanisation and resource depletion/climate change, we cannot entertain the idea of shrinkage - or even the death of cities - any more. We have to follow a course like Manchester's, and respond to industrial change through innovation and renewal... that's why the original modern city isn't shrinking any more.

After our chat I wandered along the High Line. Bloody amazing and inspirational. Photos here.

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