1. I teach on the first course our undergraduate planners do on planning and property development. The students know very little about planning and this is just to get them thinking. Due to some monumentally bad diary management on my part I found out I had an extra class to fill during the semester. I decided to do it on "planning failures", very much inspired by Peter Hall's classic Great Planning Disasters. In the class I first talk the students through two "failures", firstly Peter Hall's example of the Roskill Commission and the third/fourth/sixth London Airport (in comparison to the Netherlands and Schiphol) and secondly Basil Spence's Queen Elizabeth Square/Hutchesontown C/New Gorbals. Both "failures" in very different ways, and not necessarily failures depending on how you look at it.

    To do some active learning I then wanted to run a class activity where the four groups of students would work through their own planning disasters. I came up with High Speed 2 (a planning disaster to come?) and the Scottish Parliament (controversial because I know some people will say it's a disaster just because of the way it looks). I needed another two so I asked twitter:
  2. In the end I also chose the Beauly-Denny Power Line Upgrade and Canary Wharf. To which someone replied:
  3. Which I found quite interesting, because that's exactly the learning outcome I want my students to get at through action learning and problem-centred learning. It's also the learning outcome my wonderful twitter followers came up with in their responses.
  4. There were a good number that were examples of a project ill-thought out, with no conceivable market, that was then also poorly managed in implementation. The Millennium Dome being a classic example:
  5. I actually went to the Millennium Dome on a free school kids ticket and didn't think it was that bad. The others of this ilk were the classic white elephants of empty developments, or developments that keep going bust:
  6. Braehead also picks up another theme of planning going wrong, of the misguided attempts of planners to do one thing either having extremely poor implementation, very negative localised impacts, or unintended outcomes - the classic "why did planners in the 1960s do this?" failure. In Braehead's case, it destroyed every town centre south of Glasgow. Also are the classic road widening schemes and planning blight:
  7. And the new towns:
  8. I'm forgiving of the new towns - the vast majority were successful and reached their population targets and are still very popular places for people to live. My retort is always "you build a town of 125,000 people in 20 years then and see how well you do". But Mike Edwards, who had worked for the Milton Keynes Development Corporation highlighted this, which I'll definitely follow up:
  9. Then there were the Scottish Parliament type project management disasters, or decisions that have got so mired in politics that a complete mess has been created:
  10. Finally, there were mentions of the Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder and linked to this, the way "regeneration" is now being played out through displacement, inspired by HOPE IV:
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