Regent Street London. Centralized urban planning at its best – but believe me, as a medieval purist, I rarely think central planning is any good. The streets of London in this area once had their own character; small shops and living quarters. This street ripped that apart. And in return we got the prime awareness that “someone” was in charge. This is “majesty”, in all the senses of the word. The purpose of this street was to reorder London at that time, to let people know that there was a supreme power; to let people know that the future had arrived.
Still, it is the best sweep in all urban development over the last 200 years. This is urban renewal that got it right; if you are going to wipe out out functioning areas of a city, at least make the thing that replaces it lasting.
This street came before the boulevards of Haussmann’s Paris. The idea for this street originated from the landscape architectural concept of shaping outdoor space through buildings and trees. This is the power of an idea shaping urban form. Thank you landscape architects. Is it our fault that Kings took the idea to the extreme? Well maybe…so lets be more on the ground type people from now on…..less of the whole “let’s control the world” thing….
I’ll show more of this street, but now I realize I was in awe of city planning I shouldnt have been in awe of….better late than never….