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Coventry voted an ugly city

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PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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1 of 19  Wed 14th Aug 2013 8:03am  
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Hi all Wave Shane on our local radio was telling us this morning that Coventry has been voted seventh ugliest city in the UK. B'ham beating us, at it came fifth. Sad Sad Sad Voted by who, I don't know.
Coventry voted an ugly city
morgana
the secret garden
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2 of 19  Wed 14th Aug 2013 12:32pm  
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If it's local radio Philip it must be the locals who voted their protest maybe. People travel further nowadays especially the youngsters. When shopping people especially woman like relaxing surroundings, soft to look at, not harsh towers and metal like males do. Look on the bright side Philip Coventry didn't come first. I know Birmingham traders, also some Coventry traders, don't like what's been done to their towns.
Coventry voted an ugly city
Midland Red
Cherwell
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3 of 19  Wed 14th Aug 2013 1:50pm  
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It must be true, it's from the Daily Mail! Big grin
Coventry voted an ugly city
flapdoodle
Coventry
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4 of 19  Wed 14th Aug 2013 7:04pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2010  Total posts:832

It's an online survey for the 'crap towns' book. There's a new volume coming out. Coventry *is* ugly, and also worse than ugly. Unlike Birmingham, which is thriving in terms of retail and culture, Coventry is a pretty pathetic backwater of a place. I wouldn't mind the fact there's not a single decent 'streetscape' in the city centre if it was a lively place that gave me a reason to go there. As it stands, it doesn't. It's an irrelavancy. And what I find 'ugly' about the city centre aren't the tall buildings, but the horrendous mess around the ring road, dismal places like Pool Meadow/Fairfax Street, IKEA Plaza, Ironmonger Square, and the utterly nondescript precinct, the bodged attempts to tart it all up (Lower Precinct) and the boring streets with nothing on them. Coventry always does well in these surveys. Paving over Donald Gibson's failed squares isn't really working.
Coventry voted an ugly city
Midland Red
Cherwell
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5 of 19  Wed 14th Aug 2013 7:36pm  
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. . . and so say most of us Oh my
Coventry voted an ugly city
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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Thread starter
6 of 19  Wed 14th Aug 2013 9:25pm  
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Hi all, Wave Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. How often have I heard that. Coventry is not a seaside or a Peak District visitor attraction area. Coventry is where stuff was manufactured. The education industry is now a huge part of the city's economy, but that is of recent times. Coventry is in yet another state of change where sadly mistakes have & are being made. I share the fears of many regards the lack of joined up civil development thinking, which we may see unravelled again with the development of our railway station area starting now. I listened to a radio documentary recently, that described the state of our one-time favourite seaside holiday venues, which have been reduced to bed-sit ghettos, Blackpool & Margate included. Whilst we do not see volume vehicle manufacture, behind office blinds Coventry is still very much a centre for design, innovation & development as great as ever at any point in the past. We actually have a new mass industry of development where more people are being employed in development than ever. Just visit the sites at Whitley, as well as the various science parks. Other cities have spent much more on their visitor attractive appearance, Sheffield for one, but at the cost of mortgaging the future for all of their grandchildren to be paying for until they reach their retirement age. We could have streets paved with gold, but at a price. One of the reasons for our region's higher than the national average unemployment is the fact that so much of our employment is wrapped up in hi-tech development. There are places in our city that are vile, like where I waited for a bus in Bishop St. today, where the entrance to a long ago closed store is now an unofficial public toilet for all genders. When I am out & about, often travelling by train near & far, there is very little difference in the state of our town gardens no matter where I am. Some are like ornamental parks. Some are unkempt rubbish tips, even in some of our so called up-market areas. I try to make the best of it, as I have no intention of moving home. Wave ps. It looks as though the Courtaulds eyesore in Foleshill Rd may be about to be sorted with a new owner.
Coventry voted an ugly city
flapdoodle
Coventry
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7 of 19  Wed 14th Aug 2013 10:15pm  
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The other night Norman Foster was talking about how city buildings are really just side effects of the city's infrastructure, and infrastructure is how people flow around a city and how this defines where people meet up and generates the need for public spaces such as squares. I found this quite interesting. If you think about Coventry's road infrastructure its mainly designed to bypass the city centre. Friargate may improve that, although with Coventry bypassed by HS2 the whole development is now being propped up by the council - who rather than invest in things that will bring people in, are investing in something that will move them out.
Coventry voted an ugly city
GVB

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8 of 19  Thu 15th Aug 2013 12:32am  
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On the Danny Kelly WM radio show he was querying the efficiency of the Coventry ring road. I made the point by text that I believe the ring road works well. They then rang me and asked me to talk about that statement on air. In all honesty I had to admit that to a visitor the ring road could be quite daunting. One would think that there could well be multiple collisions on the slip roads. I have not seen any but that does not mean that there aren't any.
Coventry voted an ugly city
BrotherJoybert
Coventry
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9 of 19  Thu 15th Aug 2013 11:24am  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:119

The centre of Coventry in particular is hideously ugly, that's a fact. Some gems in there and one or two of the modern developments are okay but on the whole it's a hotch-potch of uncoordinated concrete poop. I love Coventry to bits but you can't argue with the survey - probably fortunate not to come 1st. I don't drive but the old man always maintained the ring road was fine and didn't need all the traffic lights adding - but it must indeed be daunting for visitors. I've given no end of directions to motorists who have pulled off it in a state of confusion. The old man always used to say "Not from Coventry!" at any vehicle driver showing hesitation at the slip roads Smile Friargate looks okay but totally agree that HS2 will make us even more of a backwater Sad
Coventry voted an ugly city
AD
Allesley Park
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10 of 19  Fri 16th Aug 2013 1:34pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2011  Total posts:380

On 14th Aug 2013 12:32pm, morgana said: If it's local radio Philip it must be the locals who voted their protest maybe. People travel further nowadays especially the youngsters. When shopping people especially woman like relaxing surroundings, soft to look at, not harsh towers and metal like males do. Look on the bright side Philip Coventry didn't come first. I know Birmingham traders, also some Coventry traders, don't like what's been done to their towns.
But in that case where are the likes of London, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool etc.? They got much more urban sprawl and tall towers etc. in fact most of the places mentioned are pretty low rise. However, they do also all have a great deal of concrete. Personally it's mainly a reflection of the city centre, which is hideous and gives a terrible impression. The suburbs and city as a whole are pretty decent
Coventry voted an ugly city
AD
Allesley Park
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11 of 19  Fri 16th Aug 2013 1:46pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2011  Total posts:380

On 15th Aug 2013 12:32am, GVB said: On the Danny Kelly WM radio show he was querying the efficiency of the Coventry ring road. I made the point by text that I believe the ring road works well. They then rang me and asked me to talk about that statement on air. In all honesty I had to admit that to a visitor the ring road could be quite daunting. One would think that there could well be multiple collisions on the slip roads. I have not seen any but that does not mean that there aren't any.
That is where I disagree on the whole. It may aid bypassing the city centre, but it puts people off going into it, and there is no way to avoid it. I also believe it only works reasonably well because it puts so many people off. This means it keeps the traffic levels down and makes it look like it keeps traffic moving, when if the city centre had the level of traffic it SHOULD do for its size it would prove woefully inadequate. There are times where it has been nigh on impossible to get off at a slip road along the entire western side from J6-9, with queues then leading up to J1. And the roads connecting to it are not fit for purpose either. Morning rush hours sees queues back to Chapelfields for J7 and 8 and Radford for J9. And the driving display team skills required to negotiate the slip roads are just silly. There are people who have taken jobs in the city from elsewhere who will add miles onto their journeys just to avoid it, and by avoiding the ring road you automatically have them avoiding the city centre. If I was designing the ring road I'd have only had half the number of junctions connecting to it (probably J1, J4, J6 and J8) which didn't provide access into the city centre but just allowed you to go around it. The rest I'd have left as only allowing accessing the city centre and thus divide the traffic into those wishing to go into the city centre and those not, making it a more efficient system for both parties.
Coventry voted an ugly city
flapdoodle
Coventry
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12 of 19  Fri 16th Aug 2013 6:49pm  
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The ring road 'works'? Well it's a road - it carries traffic. Of course it works. It's construction has been far more damaging to the city than anything the Germans did, though, and there are not only visual reminders of what it's done, but also academic research that highlights the fact that it's probably been quite detrimental to the city by changing the way the city is used too dramatically. Dutchman's many pictures of post-war Coventry show busy streets and intersections with businesses on them. The dreary wasteland we have now is a slowly dying circle - and in my opinion it's the consequence of the ring road. Building roads to route traffic away from busy routes is not new: Corporation Street and Hertford Street were both done for this reason, but they were designed to fit in with the existing city streets and actually became new business areas. The ring road does nothing - it simply carries people around a small area of the city quickly and deposits them onto suburban roads. Inner city areas that, elsewhere, would be thriving places, are nothing more than bleak areas of flyovers and spirals of concrete. The landscape around it is one of blank walls, service areas and empty land cluttered with cheaply built buildings. What's even weirder is that no one seems to be using it these days. I use it every day at rush hour and it's virtually empty. The thing is, I shouldn't have to go into the city centre to go across - we don't have a decent outer or 'mid city' circular route, so everyone who wants to go across goes into the centre... And the ring road these days is more of a bypass than a distributor... I always thought two things defined Coventry: it's terrible ring road (Which is ridiculed by people outside Coventry) and the precinct (Which has never been liked much aesthetically and struggled to attract businesses.) Both IMHO need to change drastically before Coventry isn't called Ugly and lifeless. Both are unfortunately, regarded as 'Iconic' by the council who seem so keen to preserve their legacy they've waste 30 years polishing a large Concrete Cow Pat. We have an iconic ring road and an iconic precinct. Chronic would more apt. Look at other cities such as Bristol and Cardiff and also some of the German cities - they kinda liked their cities before we flattened them, so some of them have been reconstructed and rebuilt. Someone commented in the post war years that 'I'd rather like to have some of the old city left.' Right, I'll stop going on about it. I've made it pretty clear I don't like the thing and think it's been bad for Coventry. (In recent weeks I've been cycling around the city centre, and the utter desolation around the ring road is quite eerie!). Funny someone should mention Sheffield. A far, far better city than Coventry. It has streets. It has trams. It has music and restaurants, and busy streets lined with businesses.
Coventry voted an ugly city
morgana
the secret garden
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13 of 19  Fri 16th Aug 2013 11:55pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:2262

Smile
Coventry voted an ugly city
Harrier
Coventry
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14 of 19  Wed 11th Sep 2013 1:08pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2012  Total posts:147

Better to be ugly and noticed rather than being totally ignored. On Radio 4 early this morning Vince Cable on his visit to the Warwick Business Centre at the University of Warwick, the word 'Coventry' was mentioned ONCE and the word 'Warwick' THIRTEEN times!!!! So now everyone knows that the University of Warwick is in Warwick????
Coventry voted an ugly city
Old Lincolnian
Coventry
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15 of 19  Wed 11th Sep 2013 4:11pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2012  Total posts:461

Unfortunately the BBC (radio and television) does this on a regular basis even sometimes calling it the University at or in Warwick (the same is also true of the Warwick Arts Centre). At one time visiting speakers would regularly go to Warwick expecting to find the University and then have to get a taxi to Coventry at the last minute, not such a problem now due to Satnavs and the like and people also tend to plan their route better nowadays.
Coventry voted an ugly city

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