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AJE

To be fair, here is a picture of he "train staiton in India":

www.davidrietveld.nl/ india/foto2.html

awesome.

Matthew Whitfield

Some friends of mine at the Downtown Liverpool organisation also have some misgivings on Liverpool's World Heritage status:

http://www.downtownliverpool.org/policy/whs.htm

They do, though, rather miss the point in my opinion. Yes, this new status for the city will mean increased regulation and a beefed up level of protection for the historic environment. It does not and cannot be allowed to mean that new development and economic growth will be stunted, however.

Everyone with a vested interest in Liverpool's bid to become a World Heritage Site has been more than aware of the criticisms of Downtown Liverpool and others. Supporters have regularly refuted claims that the scheme will lead to the creation of a Victorian theme park rather than foster a commercially succesful future for Liverpool. I agree with them - for a start, heritage is a marketable commodity and should be exploited with increasing sophistication with the arrival of this new accolade for the city. Secondly, and more importantly, the value of Liverpool's brand will rocket at the news of the UNESCO honour. In all honesty, an improved image of the city in the eyes of investors and decision makers will do more for Liverpool in the long run than a thousand unsympathetic building developments which 'may' be blocked as a result of new guidelines.

Maybe in a city where good news stories have been difficult to come by for decades, some citizens have lost the ability to celebrate. Carping's much easier, you see.

AJE

Fair point - perhaps I was too willing to mention both stories in one post. Of course the governence of a National Park and a World Heritage site are entirely different.

I'm probably being far to cynical, but whilst the positive benefits are in the hands of the Liverpool marketing men, the potential down side is unecessary - it's a little patronising for the people of Liverpool to be told how spectacular the waterfront is.

A change in the entrepreneurial architectural climate is indeed something to celebrate, but all this really is, is another logo to put on the website.

The new conversions popping up throughout the city are what should truly be celebrated - the past being celebrated within the future. Building buildings that simulteously look backward and afront. Of course, I lack the expertise to trumpet them - if you desire a forum for your thoughts then send me some boomph and you can replace my amateurish cynicism!

Alas, this is not my forte.

Peter J

re Liverpool WHS "It does not and cannot be allowed to mean that new development and economic growth will be stunted"

What then was the real reason why the plug was pulled on the 4th grace?!

The scheme only stacked up financially with extra apartments, this meant building higher and you cant build higher than the liver building in WHS..

Tony Siebenthaler

I don't think the obligations of WHS are really understood. The heritage community know this, but I am afraid that they have been quite disengeneous when convincing city leaders that it is a good thing. The extent of the restrictive covenance WHS brings has been glossed over. It not just a badge of honour and international recognition of our great impact on global development, but rather an incredibly restrictive management regime, that is just as tight as the one for the Taj Mahal, the pyramids and Stonehenge etc. Of course it will stop new developments that need to go outside the envelope of what is allowed in the management plan.
It is not simply a conservation initiative but a spatial template. There are a whole series of follow on policies that show this..anti tall buildings policies, 'innapropriate' buildings programmes (for the removal of)etc. Just the last one shows that if this is not about rendering a facsimile of a pristine victorian port then what buildings could be deemed 'innapropriate'? And of course we have the requirement that all new development must be in 'harmony'...who will define what this is?
I am very conservation minded...I used to run Heritage Open Days amongst other things.....but WHS is not about sound conservation principles it IS about freezing the place...It says it all in the management plan for Gods sake! Innapropriate commerce, live actors to animate and create suitable embiance, sending developers and investors to edge city sites etc...might be alright for Ironbridge, but?

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