There has been a lot of fuss about sustainability in the engineering world over the past few years. Both ICE and IStructE make some level of fuss about it, but joined up thinking is not very evident. If we don't get our act together and show that we really care about what we are doing to the environment, no one will take seriously any discussion of sustainability. Of course, some of the joined up thinking will only be visible to the next generation.
The centre of Exeter is being rebuilt. What wasn't flattened by Hitler was finished off by the local council and rebuilt in a rathewr uniform, but at least human, style in the early 50s. It is clear that the architect thought about breaking up lines rather than having long uniform runs and construction was done in local brick, giving a relatively gentle finish.
It is clear that what is to replace it will be acres of glitzy modern glass. Harsh and oppressive.
What is MUCH worse, though is the sight of enormous piling rigs on sites which are supposed to be having single story buildings. The postwar rebuild was entirely on pad foundations. Even the three and four storey stuff.
I trust that the developers are depositing enough money in a secure bank account to pay for removal of the piles and restoration of the ground when the buildings need replacing in .... well, how long? I am happy to bet that no retailers will be queing to refurbish these buildings in 50 years as H&M just did to move into the High Street.
And yes, I do know that Exeter has just won the accolade of Clone City for the blandest, most corporate high street in the UK. The saddest part of that is that there was a street full of local stores doing good business in what is now a bomb site. I bet they don't survive being pitched out. I bet they couldn't pay the new rent anyway.
No time to proof this. Must go to bed.