City and context
Cities are the physical framework of our society, the generator of civil values, the engine of our economy and the heart of our culture. In England, one of the three most densely populated countries in the world, 90% of the population live in cities, but many of our urban centres are not sustainable. Large areas of dereliction, poverty and empty quarters, destroy the sense of community and vitality, urban sprawl erodes our countryside.
Today, with the increase in life expectancy, the decrease in birth rate, increase in divorce rate and the potential for less pollution in our post-industrial society, the city has once more become man's natural habitat. Compact polycentric cities are the only sustainable form of development and should be designed to attract people. If we don't get urban regeneration right then all our work on cities - buildings and public spaces, education, health, employment, social inclusion and economic growth - will be undermined.
Sustainable urban development is dependent on three factors; the quality of architecture, social well-being and environmental responsibility. The compact sustainable city is multi-cultural with a hierarchy of density, has a mix of uses and tenures, is well connected with a coherent public transport, walking and cycling infrastructure, is well designed both in terms of public spaces and building, and is environmentally responsive.
The Richard Rogers Partnership has an extensive track record in sustainable urban regeneration - examples include masterplans for the East River Waterfront in Manhattan, a large mixed use development in Seoul, Korea, Convoys Wharf on the banks of the River Thames, the urban context for the new stadium at Wembley in West London, the regeneration of former docklands at Almada, Lisbon, ongoing schemes in Granada, Mallorca and Rome, as well as competition designs for Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, Piana di Castello near Florence and the Pudong Peninsula in Shanghai.
Richard Rogers delivered the 1995 BBC Reith lectures, entitled 'Cities for a Small Planet' , and has since contributed to major publications highlighting the need for sustainable urban regeneration: 'Cities for a Small Country' (with Anne Power), 'Towards an Urban Renaissance',
(a report by the Government's Urban Task Force, chaired by Richard Rogers) and the 'London Plan' , issued by the Mayor's office. Richard Rogers is Chief Advisor to the Mayor of London, in particular for the London Thames Gateway development and London's public spaces.
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