”Recently we have witnessed the mounting of very large development projects in European and American cities. There is a striking physical similarity among the schemes and also a convergence embodied in private-sector involvement and market orientation.” — Failed Architecture
European urbanist Lea Olsson and Jan Loerakker gets to the bottom of recent urban development ventures in Europe and set up a pattern repeated in many other places in the World.
"This essay doesn’t try to blame the public-private model for certain urban failures, but rather tries to make clear what factors are determining a positive or negative outcome. Looking at the role that, for instance, architectural firm BIG played in the Ørestad development, this leaves us with the question how we should position ourselves as architects and urban planners in this contemporary power structure. Should we work in close affiliation with private investors who give us room to express ourselves – or will this limit our social role? Will the state only allow us to build the mediocre – or do we need public influence to add meaningful and long-lasting buildings and spaces to the city? In the precarious balance of public-private partnerships the answer of our discipline to those questions will be crucial in guaranteeing the quality of our future environments."