Thanks to architect Charlie Sutherland, who brought two young
architect / planners to Lawson
Park (Karen and Grizedale Art's home in the Lake District) to
talk about Cheng Du in SW China, a city of 12 million where
Charlie is planning and designing many things including the 6000 sq
We barely caught our breath as they showed us a series of
startlingly futuristic animations of cityscapes, all of which will
be done and dusted by 2016. One of their major practical and
philosophical challenges is the linking of the rural to the urban -
we toured them around the Lake District showing them what is called
'the tourist offer' here (shops selling tat, poor food, expensive
parking) and highlighting how Grizedale and Somewhere's approaches
to working with the indigenous cultures we find differed from this.
Cheng Du will soon have all the iconic arts spaces of any world
city that has arrived - museums, opera houses etc - but potentially
it can also have a cultural masterplan that develops grassroots
creativity for all its citizens and connects them with each other
as well as China's past glory.
I gave a short presentation about What Will the
Harvest Be? and hopefully the Mayor of Cheng Du is
enjoying the website as I speak....