Friday, July 20, 2007

city life

Last night I went to a lecture. It was entitled: What changes will the city need to make to deal with climate change, and will it be able to survive at all? I went thinking it would be a thought-provoking and challenging evening; I came away somewhat frustrated and feeling it had been a wasted opportunity. There were two speakers: Professor Susan Roaf offered what was billed as a “mind-blowing picture of the history of the end of the city” – but I found it all rather bland and it hardly scratched the surface of the problem (eg. her solutions included “battening down the hatches and stopping building altogether” and “avoiding building above six storeys high”!) and George Marshall, who was more interesting - in a somewhat homespun, make-do-and-mend sort of way - with an emphasis on recycling/re-using materials and illustrating these with photographs of his own house (which totally failed to persuade me I’m afraid!). Maybe the title of the talk was just too ambitious, but it just didn’t work for me.
The biggest irony was that, during the course of the evening, George Marshall admitted that he was actually moving from the City of Oxford to Powys, Wales to build himself a new home in the middle of nowhere!!

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