The Vision of the Master Plan

From 'The Story of the Original CMK'

We had the ‘Green Book’ – the Master Plan. We read this through and thought it rather intelligent and sensible… We said to Derek Walker, What’s the job? He said look in the Master Plan. So we looked in the Master Plan and we read this….

  • It should be possible to drive into the centre along planted boulevards fronted by office and other uses, and then to pull off and park in a tree-planted square fronted by shops with pedestrian arcades leading directly from the bus stops and from many ‘slow’ streets with both pedestrians, slow-moving vehicles and metered kerbside parking. At the same time, there should be place for spacious climate controlled galleries and covered piazzas, as well as for intimate open air alleyways and markets, cafes, fountains and small public gardens.

…We thought, we don’t have any problem with any of this. How might we draw something which matches this written description? That’s it in a nutshell. We didn’t say this is all rubbish, to hell with the Master Plan, let’s chuck this out and start again. We thought this all sounds rather good. It doesn’t sound like recent examples of urbanism that we dislike – like Brent Cross Shopping Centre, the Tricorn Centre Portsmouth, the other recent new town centres like Cumbernauld or Runcorn – all designed as machines. This isn’t like that and that appeals to us.

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