I was involved in what seemed like a very pivotal interview with Sheena McDonald on the future of cities, at a time when ‘New Labour’ had just arrived with an allegedly much more urban agenda, and indeed a regional one too. What was changing in architecture and place design had already begun to impact upon London, and was likely to ripple out to other UK cities, so there was an interest in what might happen over the next 13-15 years.
There were interesting discussions on technology, design, culture, tax and economic competitiveness in a world of increasingly footloose, mobile talent. We even talked about ‘league tables’ of cities and, as cities became more powerful, the idea of a new Hanseatic League of European Cities, which I loosely modelled on the UEFA Championship.
As with so many of these types of discussions, much of the really quirky parts get cut out, which is a shame, but it was an interesting discussion which provoked some interesting responses. I have always thought it would be good to gauge what actually happened against the predictions for 2010.