Friday 4 January 2013

Comment on BBC WM: Do we need to preserve our urban views.

I took a call from BBC WM yesterday asking me for a comment, as a photographer, on former heritage minister John Penrose's idea that the finest urban views in our cities and towns should be protected. Here's the article in The Telegraph.

It's still available on Listen Again for the next 5 days so tune in while you can! It starts 48:20 minutes in.

I think John Penrose's idea is certainly different but I'm not sure how it could be executed successfully in cities where the landscape is always changing.

I don't think views are always ruined by redevelopment. In fact, new buildings and architecture can enhance city's aspects.

Could preserving certain urban views have a detrimental effect on industry? If a business can't build, where will the jobs go and in turn the growth of towns and cities.

What would constitute a heritage view? How would it be decided?

John Madin's Central Library is due to be demolished. I was very fortunate that the Central Library gave permission for access to the building for the 4am Project.

Ben Waddington looks over Centenary Square
Photo by Mark Wilson

The urban view from the roof top of the library is wonderful, but that particular view won't be there much longer. Though as one building goes, another will appear on the horizon and perhaps offer an even better view of an urban landscape (which of course is all down to personal taste and opinion anyway).

On my 'Being a tourist in my own city' day I took to the 25th Floor of the fairly new The Cube. I was amazed by the views! Those views may not exist if redevelopment had been halted.

Watch on youtube.

I'm all for an ever-changing urban landscape. Unless you touch my favourite building of course!

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