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Good Cities Better Lives: New Book by Renowned Urbanist Peter Hall Suggests We Dont Build Enough in Britain

Peter Hall is a celebrated and gifted writer and advocate of urbanism. Throughout his 60 year career, he has become one of the most celebrated planning experts in the land, and has written many influential books as well at lectured at some of the most prestigious seats of learning in the world.

In the 1970s, he began producing a series of papers experimenting with the idea of removing planning restrictions in certain areas to promote growth – this concept was a major influence on the Thatcher government and helped shaped the East London and Canary Wharf development projects in the 1980s.

Hall is also a big fan of development in the country, and a supporter of the HS2 Project (more information about which can be found in our blog post here) and a replacement airport for London in the Thames Estuary. In fact, he has spoken at length about infrastructure projects and perceived ‘risky’ developments – speaking in the Guardian about his book Great Planning Disasters, he says people forget that there are two types of disasters – ‘disastrous developments and disastrous failures to develop.’

It is in these terms that he speaks about our planning policies and attitudes towards development in Britain.

‘We don’t build enough, and what we do build is too often ugly, alienating and poorly served by infrastructure.’

He speaks of planning being deeply rooted in the real world, and informed by a clear understanding of history and cultural possibility. It should also, fundamentally and perhaps most importantly, focus on the issue of improving lives and bettering people’s experiences in life.

Above all, why do we want to build?

To find out more about big infrastructure projects, view our recent infographic or our blog post about the HS2 Rail Project

Contact us if you’re looking to start a build and would like expert advice.

Peter Hall Good Cities Better Lives