Wendy Robertson investigates how our cities might have looked if the drawing board dreamers had seen their penC1l sketches become bricks and mortar.

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magine a variation on Cinderella’s i Hitler had grandiose plans for imperial achievement in constructing the New Town Disneyland castle perched in the centre ; Berlin but less powerful mortals tend to run more than two hundred years ago. has been of Edinburgh. Difficult? Then how ! into problems when they face the harsh Very timid about embracing any new idea aboutsix lanes ofmotorway cuttinga reality ofhavingto convince others ofthe since. While Glasgow has been eagerto swathe through one ofthe city’s most L meritoftheirideas. reinvent itselfalmost every generation. popular public parks? Monstrous? All i We are all familiar with the plans that did applying an equally hit and miss approach right then. how about a giant bell straddling make the transition from two dimensions to over the quality ofwhat is chosen to be built the Clyde? Ifthis all sounds like the further 1 three. succeeding either because they caught ' and What is chosen to be destroyed. realmsofsurreal fantasy, think again. All i the imagination oftheir contemporariesor Ofall the hundreds ofthousands of three are in fact serious and very real I because whoever manipulated the strings of projects which have ever glimpsed the light propositions from professional planners 7 power at the time managed to force the of day we offer on the following pages a concerned to prepare our cities for their } schemes through. The results are the selection of the glories that could have visions of the future. familiar city landmarks that surround us. the graced our Cities and the horrors WhiCh we Delving back into the city archives. it soon a good. the bad. and the downright ugly. But. narrowly escaped. Taking a look at these becomes clearthat in the mind ofa planner ? given the often arbitrary way decisions are and others like them givesan inkling ofhow anythingis possible. Often they start witha 1 taken. it is not surprisingthat manybudding OUFCiIiCSmighl hiWC appeared hadccrtain modest. even straightforward briefto . ideas, the tenderly nurtured fruits of hours people been able to exercise their fertile address a pressing problem ofthe time. but ofcreative input. lie rejected and forgotten. imaginations unCheCked. What links all the as you leafthrough their drawings, you can I There is a noticeable difference in the ' schemes is that they have not. as yet. detect the burgeoning enthusiasm and onset . attitude adopted by the city fathers at either i become reality. of megalomania. For them. the dream has to I end ofthe Central Belt ofScotland. remain on the drawing-board. l Edinburgh. patting itselfon the back for its . a J

The List 8 21 November 199111