In writing about London for Der Spiegel Christoph Scheuermann starts with three problems to which the landcape architecture profession can make a contribution. The crap weather, the traffic, the noise, the obscene amounts of money, the horrific rents, the Central Line during rush hour, the greed, the indifference, the Russians in Mayfair, the French in Notting Hill, and the price of a pint has long since risen above six euros: There are, of course, a number of reasons to hate London. But then the sun peaks through the clouds for a second, the woman sitting across from you in the subway smiles and you are given a ticket for a theater premier — and all the aggravations are forgotten. In such moments, it becomes clear: There is no better place in the world than this wondrous city. Nowhere is more exciting or more polite, nowhere else gives you more, despite terror, despite Brexit and despite the constant chaos. Landscape architects can:
- create a network of roofed public open space and sheltered greenways to combat the crap weather
- solve the traffic problem by creating a network of cycleways
- quieten the city by vegetating its walls and roofs
Scheuermann then argues that Brexit could kill the golden goose. I completely disagree. London’s destiny is to be, as it has since the renaissance, a world city as well as a European city. Like Venice, it became great because of its separateness. But it does need more and better landscape architecture.