My article in January 2000 looked back and gazed into the future. How well did I do in anticipating change in British cities, planning and higher education?
New Zealand's right-wing minority government is amending the legislation that defines the planning system, to address what it calls problems with "cumbersome planning processes".
Whether it's an old church or the shell of a derelict factory, a gap site or an under-used parking lot, vacant land and buildings are a headache for planners and regeneration professionals. The impacts of vacany stretch beyond the site, creating a sense of decline and blighting neighbourhoods. Yet these left overs can be the ingredients of a new urban stew. Potentially they offer opportunities for cheap premises and new start-ups, innovation and regeneration. The key questions are how do you make the connections to unlock that potential, how does the planning system handle temporary uses, and how can initial success be sustained?