Saturday, March 29, 2008

Sydney and Plans

I had my first success in getting a letter published in the SMH for quite a while toda; Don't mess with the heart and soul of this great city. (You have to dig a bit.)

It was editted from the original which I share with you below.

It is remarkable the faith people have in the mythical Ability of planners to write wrongs. Supposedly in the city of Sydney those wrongs include the “chaos” created by the unplanned environment of the 50s and 60s.

It is fascinating that the same Premier who planned to give us an Opera House planned to give us the Cahill expressway. Fascinating that the citizenry continues to complain about The Toaster without reflecting how much more open the Opera House is now than it was with the original collection of East Circular Quay buildings.

And the politicians and media get seduced by the nice clean lines of the impressions of the new designs, without looking at the pieces of the impression that are areas that don’t change. The bulk of the improvement is like fashion magazine “before and after” shots, though in this case the after shot is the one improved by not colouring it all in.

Cities grow like organisms, their functions change and morph. Sydney is no longer a bustling wharf town to the disappointment of sum. But messy railways, aerial freeways and busy ferry wharves are visual expressions of the vibrancy of the city. It is not some airbrushed picture postcard of sentimentality. Please Clover and everyone else, let Sydney quietly evolve and banish your sterile visions.

The editted version really missed the bit about how misleading all the artists drawings of the "future" city look. I'll save that for another day.

1 comment:

Kylene said...

Great work.