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Tale of two cities

More architects and city planners now subscribe to a kind of humane urbanism. But brutal modernism is not yet dead

The report of Richard Rogers’s Urban Task Force (published in June) is one of the most intelligent and decent documents published by an official body in recent decades-and a cynic might say that this is a sure sign that its recommendations will not be implemented. The task force was set up under the aegis of John Prescott; its ideas on limiting the spread of the suburbs, reviving city centres, and improving the environment, are linked to Prescott’s plans to restrict car use and promote public transport.

On the face of it the chances of something resembling a state-led “urban renaissance”…

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