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Urban Impressions - Amazing Coventry

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anne
coventry
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16 of 21  Wed 15th Aug 2012 8:28pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2012  Total posts:287

Thank you - very informative! Thumbs up
Urban Impressions - Amazing Coventry
AD
Allesley Park
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17 of 21  Thu 16th Aug 2012 11:03am  
Member: Joined Aug 2011  Total posts:421

The social evils I talk about won't be solved by this topic no, but it's an indisputable fact that buildings that are unused attract such behaviour, regardless of age. But old buildings are also much more likely to be unoccupied than new ones. There are campaigns to save buildings (many of which I like) which are successful, but nothing actually happens to the building after the campaign - it continues to sit unused and before you know it there's a story in the paper about it being set on fire or used for drugs and they have to spends tens of thousands on security for a building thats doing nothing! A large amount of council money is spent on plans that come to nothing (although in terms of overall budget it's actually a very small percentage). But these plans, flawed as they may be, are made for a reason. The council knows that it needs more money because it can't afford to provide the services it wants, so it has to increase employment, tourism etc to get more money in and reduce the amount going out in social welfare. Leaving things as the status quo isn't an option. And at times it is buildings in situ that help cause these plans to fail. Take the Sainsbury's building at the bottom of Priory Place. this was supposed to be demolished, but Sainsburys refused. That caused the entire plan to be redrawn, and with it the path between Millennium Place and the Cathedral became distorted and the route between the two unclear. Now the design was certainly another big factor, with blank walls leading up the ramp so people didn't feel an urge to at least take a look, but the loss of that route was instrumental in creating a £20m failure. As you say there is a great deal of places people can find out about the history and cost a great deal of money to provide, but few people use them so are they effective? The people they cater for are those already interested in history and tend to have come here for that reason anyway. You can offer all the education you want for locals to try and increase civic pride, but the fact is most people have little or no interest in it and won't take up the chance. You've got to make it so they can't really ignore it. It has to be in their face. For example, another member of this forum (and therefore clearly already with an interest in the history of this city and actually quite knowledgeable about it), on a different forum, stated he intended to go and wander around taking some pictures of the old sites etc, but after about half an hour he gave up because they were so far away from each other with so little in between he just got bored. Now, as he stated himself were there more things to do in between he may have continued, and other things like the modern layout just frustrated him and if these were improved having the buildings in situ wouldn't be an issue. But the average Joe isn't going to do that. As I've said before Spon St is much loved and people think it's quaint and interesting (even though it has been ruined in recent years by junk food places etc) but almost no-one realises a great deal of it is 'fake', made up of buildings from around the city centre moved by Gibson for his masterplan. There's plaques etc on the walls telling people their original locations, but few bother reading them - they just enjoy the view. Even my retired auntie didn't realise and she was here during the reconstruction! But even more importantly no-one really cares, they still like it. Had those buildings been spread around in their original surroundings would they have the same impact, or garner the same emotion? The sum is so much greater than its parts.
Urban Impressions - Amazing Coventry
morgana
the secret garden
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18 of 21  Thu 16th Aug 2012 11:39am  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:2216

The question I would be asking myself, why do the likes of Stratford-upon-Avon etc attract yet Coventry has more history in different eras, perhaps it because they are more pleasant to the eye.
Urban Impressions - Amazing Coventry
dutchman
Spon End
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19 of 21  Thu 16th Aug 2012 12:47pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:3000

On 16th Aug 2012 11:03am, AD said: As I've said before Spon St is much loved and people think it's quaint and interesting (even though it has been ruined in recent years by junk food places etc) but almost no-one realises a great deal of it is 'fake', made up of buildings from around the city centre moved by Gibson for his masterplan. There's plaques etc on the walls telling people their original locations, but few bother reading them - they just enjoy the view. Even my retired auntie didn't realise and she was here during the reconstruction! But even more importantly no-one really cares, they still like it. Had those buildings been spread around in their original surroundings would they have the same impact, or garner the same emotion? The sum is so much greater than its parts.
The trouble is they pulled down genuine period buildings such as Rotherham's Club in order to fit the fake reconstructions and whereas the original buildings were designed to blend-in with their surroundings the reconstructions stick out like a sore thumb. Thye also wrecked the entire concept of 'conservation area' by allowing modernist buildings such as IKEA and the student flats in Lower Holyhead Road to be built.
Urban Impressions - Amazing Coventry
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Allesley Park
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20 of 21  Fri 17th Aug 2012 5:25pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2011  Total posts:421

On 16th Aug 2012 11:39am, morgana said: The question I would be asking myself, why do the likes of Stratford-upon-Avon etc attract yet Coventry has more history in different eras, perhaps it because they are more pleasant to the eye.
I would suggest a certain Mr W Shakespeare helps quite a bit! And going back to another discussion of entertainment venues the RSC must be quite a draw too. And for me personally a big drawback for this city is the lack of a watercourse (a proper one, not the trickle hidden underneath the city centre, although even that would arguably be preferable to none) I love walking and sitting alongside rivers, canals, seafronts etc.
Urban Impressions - Amazing Coventry
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Allesley Park
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21 of 21  Fri 17th Aug 2012 5:31pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2011  Total posts:421

On 16th Aug 2012 12:47pm, dutchman said: Thye also wrecked the entire concept of 'conservation area' by allowing modernist buildings such as IKEA and the student flats in Lower Holyhead Road to be built.
I agree that it looks disjointed, with gaps, no real coherence. You get a medieval building, a Victorian one, back to medieval, Georgian... It's a bit of a mess IMO, especially with the newer structures like the nightclub along the street. But a lot of people like it. It seems like another idea that just got abandoned after starting it as another shiny new plan comes to the fore. They need to get a plan and implement it in its entirety.
Urban Impressions - Amazing Coventry

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