The Future Scotland Debates: Sustainable Places
August 21 2009
Opening with a statement that: “Confusion is the only fruitful state of mind, the understanding that there are some things we don’t understand”. Greer was nevertheless very definite in her remedy for our carbon addicted economy, stating the need to demolish our historic building stock which is: “incapable of upgrade, made from the wrong materials and in the wrong way – it would be cheaper to build from scratch”.
Espousing her very own “Needles” an estate of Corbusier like fifty storey tower blocks clad entirely in glass and photovoltaic cells nestled within protected landscape to provide the growing population of our country who reside in single occupancy homes as: “With less house and more services.”
Denouncing the estate agent spiel of a home for life Greer outlined how the changing requirements of our lives dictate the need for flexible accommodation that can suit our evolving requirements. Inspired by the ostentatious bling of the Donald’s proliferating Trump towers and the Burj al Arab Greer envisioned a future where people could recline in lofty solitude, serviced by high speed lifts and surrounded by a wealth of amenity in the form of gyms, swimming pools, cafes, shops and services.
Acknowledging Britain’s troubled historical brushes with the now infamous tower blocks of old Greer asked: “Why do people pay millions to stay in a high rise apartment when they could be put in a social high rise at no cost at all? We don’t like towers because they were given to us in the meanest, nastiest, most improper way. Nothing of luxury was given but we can overturn that prejudice to high-rise living with views, privacy and security.
“Instead of having sprawling roads and utilities we would barely touch the ground”.
Peter Clegg & Deyan Sudic's responses to follow.
Read next: Land rights guide published
Read previous: Airdrie Church reborn
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