Skyscraper City Forum banner
1 - 20 of 267 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,821 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Until I came across this forum I never met anyone in Liverpool who thought that world heritage status was bad for the city. In fact, the response I met with was completely the opposite. The consensus was that it provided the city with something tangible and durable to sustain the tourism aspects of its economy - worth over £1 billion a year to the city (or the equivalent of building 6 central towers a year, not just as one offs).

What I find most disappointing is the absence of any real attempt to engage with having part of the city designated as a world heritage site in a constructive way in order to lobby for high quality architecture in the context of preserving what is left of this city's heritage. Does it really have to be naff repro red brick warehouses or nothing? Are skyscrapers the only buildings worth having? The existing buildings in the commercial quarter look good. Why can't the variety that is found there be incorporated into the rest of the World Heritage site?


The following questions seem relevant:

(1) Is WHS a good or a bad thing for the city and why? Please argue your point, and if possible avoid hurling abuse or over-relying on categorical statements that don't provide any evidence for the points you are making.

(2) How might the city engage with the challenges associated with possessing a world heritage site to ensure prosperity for its inhabitants?

(3) Would the removal of WHS have an adverse effect on our economy post 2008?

(4) Take a look at the SSC Banner everyday - most of the cities are indistinguishable from each other. A row of tall glass coffins, slightly different hights, slightly different widths. Is this what we want for our city? Does world heritage status have the effect of ensuring that we think carefully about the cityscape we hand on to future generations.

If you are interested in having a bit more background info read this:

http://www.liverpoolworldheritage.com/Images/2 LWHS Introduction_tcm55-55514.pdf
 

·
Disco and drugs trade
Joined
·
15,947 Posts
It's a sign that the City is a fossil. Which may work if you're a Venice or Edidburgh, at may work for somewhere small like Stratford-upon-Avon, but it shouts of backwards/Heratge/dead City (sorry) to me.

Ditton "The John Lennon Liverpool Airport".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,821 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The whole city doesn't have world heritage status - just a small part of it. It's easy to say that it suggests that the city 'is a fossil'. Are you suggesting that WHS just exists to 'fossilise' cities? Why do you think it exists in the first place? Is it a product of UNESCO's malign intent to the rest of the world. Isn't JLA an example of good practice capitalism? Putting an extra layer on top of a good package to bring in extra mullah from Beatles loving tourists?
 

·
Disco and drugs trade
Joined
·
15,947 Posts
I did not suggest that the city is a fossil.

I said that WHS is a sign of fossilsed/dead city, one that Liverpool City Council seems to want.

It's easy to be Cynical about John Lennon, just listed to Walls and Bridges, arf!, but one point about the renaming of the Airport is the sheer cynacism of it, not to mention the naffness of it. (thinks about putting in the old Didn't John Lennon bugger off out of first Liverpool and then the UK as fast as he could anyway? stuff, but can't be bothered.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
344 Posts
It certainly does not suggest Liverpool is a dead fossil City, its 2 fingers to the rest of the country - Stereotype thread anyone?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,821 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·

·
Disco and drugs trade
Joined
·
15,947 Posts
The Stereotype is the Liverpool is a city obsesed with the Beatles and music from 40 years ago, and will pimp itself out in return for a few sheckles by being BEATLES CITY!!

And they put two fingers up to this cliche by renaming the airport?


On another point, Listing building is fosilising it, that's a good thing, stops people building extentions onto it, ever seen the Sheffield Town Hall? And doing the same for 'areas' is good, if it's somewhere like Ironbridge, but an Ill defined area in the centre of a modern city?

Not my idea of a good idea. Espically when there's problems like Central Station...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
344 Posts
Stephen Robinson said:
The Stereotype is the Liverpool is a city obsesed with the Beatles and music from 40 years ago, and will pimp itself out in return for a few sheckles by being BEATLES CITY!!

And they put two fingers up to this cliche by renaming the airport?


On another point, Listing building is fosilising it, that's a good thing, stops people building extentions onto it, ever seen the Sheffield Town Hall? And doing the same for 'areas' is good, if it's somewhere like Ironbridge, but an Ill defined area in the centre of a modern city?

Not my idea of a good idea. Espically when there's problems like Central Station...
Let me clear my comment up for ya Ste, neither a Beatles City stereotype, nor naming an airport after a beatle are offensive or derogatory and are nothing to be ashamed of if we wish to exploit the tourism benefits along the way. I was referning to the (and i hate using these words in this context) people who considered for many years Liverpool and scousers as a bad place full of thieves etc.....snobbery I hate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,821 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Stephen Robinson said:
The Stereotype is the Liverpool is a city obsesed with the Beatles and music from 40 years ago, and will pimp itself out in return for a few sheckles by being BEATLES CITY!!

And they put two fingers up to this cliche by renaming the airport?


On another point, Listing building is fosilising it, that's a good thing, stops people building extentions onto it, ever seen the Sheffield Town Hall? And doing the same for 'areas' is good, if it's somewhere like Ironbridge, but an Ill defined area in the centre of a modern city?

Not my idea of a good idea. Espically when there's problems like Central Station...
As always you're conflating several separate things. This is not a thread about popular culture in Liverpool (Bealtles), or the marketing of 'culture' to turn a few bucks (JLA). It's about WHS and how to engage constructively with it or against it. It's a thread about the built environment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,412 Posts
I'm not knowledgeable enough to know the answer to this, and I don't know how it's done in other WHS cities. It seems as though Liverpool over-egged the pudding in terms of the WHS boundaries (Tony put up a map and that is basically a bit ridiculous - there are three very small clusters of truly important surviving heritage that are worth badging as such), and then compounded that error by simply bad planning decisions about what can be done within or near the WHS area.

As discussed on another thread, it might have been better to concentrate on a far smaller area (or three small areas) and really consolidate the heritage with high quality rebuilds of lost "context" buildings. The one achievement of WHS could have been Canning Place, complete with the Customs House, for example. A sensitive and low rebuild of Concourse House / St Johns Precinct could have been another - it is absurd for Liverpool to even pretend to be interested in its architectural heritage when such horrific cheap ugliness is tolerated next door St Georges Hall.

Well here is an idea. If WHS doesn't work for Liverpool, there are probably other cities it isn't working for also - or who haven't been awarded it - or who don't want it - but who like Liverpool have real issues about balancing modernism and growth with the interests of conservation. Liverpool should invite a dozen or so cities with comparable issues to a meeting to discuss this issue (use 2008 money to pay for it, put it under the guise of culture), and commission some papers on the issues for that meeting. One option then would be to set up a network of such cities, and from that an Association of World Heritage Cities....this could become an alternative to WHS designation by setting its own standards and norms for conservation (which would be a bit more realistic and less counter-productive than WHS) and offer a bit of choice for cities (and Governments) about which to bid for.

In the end, Liverpool could then give up WHS or have it taken away, but have a better, more flexible and creative designation to fall back on for marketing purposes. Tourists don't know what WHS means, so they wont know what "World Heritage City" (trademark) means either....

----

A second idea then I'll shut up for a bit...

Maybe the 21st Century Society could produce a pamphlet on this issue, and if it was good use it to bid for funding from someone to work the ideas up into a proposal or fuller report? Not sure who would fund it...but just thinking aloud. But I think the 21st C Society could easily write a pamphlet - just a simple three-section pamphlet

1. The opportunity - how WHS can be good, and could be good, for Liverpool, with examples from elsewhere in the world of how it has worked well and why

2. The problem - why it is problematic and stifling in Liverpool, what has gone wrong, and that potential costs and disbenefits of WHS going wrong in terms of missed opportunities and stunted or distorted economic growth

3. Ideas on ways forward, setting out options and taking a view on what is best - or just putting them out into the public for debate.

The pamphlet could be press noticed and launched at a 21C Society meeting, to get some publicity and attract new members.

All the information needed is on the net, and all the views and opinions are in the heads of the members and written on the pages of SSC Liverpool sub-Forum. I know there are people who know how to edit reports within its nascent membership also, who could pull a pamphlet together out of different contributions (maybe just 3,000 words long?). ((Obviously Tony could write and edit this kind of thing with his hands tied behind his back, but I think there is enough skill around to help him with writing and editing, to share the work out and get members involved in producing something). I'm talking about a PDF rather than a paper pamphlet, by the way!

There. Time for cup of coffee. :)
 

·
Cowboy of Love
Joined
·
8,096 Posts
The problem seems to be that around the same time that WHS was designated Liverpool started to attract the attentions of lots of developers and the uniqueness associated with the WHS was also an attractive selling point for developers.
And herein lies the rub. How do you protect this uniqueness whilst servicing the needs of a vibrant, vital city?
Developers want to place their schemes in the best locations and unfortunately for those concerned with Liverpool's heritage these places are right on top of the WHS.
In my personal opinion i think the desires of the developers are being too easily satisfied. I strongly believe the WHS should NOT be encased in formaldehyde but i also think Liverpool's planners should do more to attract developers away from the WHS. This has the double benefit of protecting the WHS and stimulating regeneration in other parts of the city. I think Liverpool is rushing too fast in to a building boom with not enough thought to both the short term design implications and the long term town planning implications. There is the real danger of destroying make makes Liverpool such a great city.
There is no point being too precious when it comes to developments throughout the city but when it falls within the well earned WHS there should be some accountability and some caution.
This isnt about the city we (well, you not me) live in but the city our children will live in.


ps. Whats this 21st century society- sounds interesting?
I am the secretary to the North West group of the Twentieth Century Society so would be very interested in what its all about.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,293 Posts
Liverpool8 said:
Until I came across this forum I never met anyone in Liverpool who thought that world heritage status was bad for the city. In fact, the response I met with was completely the opposite.
World Hertitage Status is a great thing for the city. Anyone who thinks the opposite has brain damage. The world focused on Liverpool once it was awarded. The South of England, who collectively think Liverpool is a slum, became very quiet - not that anyone cares about what that pretentious bunch of retards think.

Hopefully World Hertitage and the Hertage people will resist any desecration of docks and waterways to cheap high rise tat developers.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,293 Posts
The Longford said:
In my personal opinion i think the desires of the developers are being too easily satisfied. I strongly believe the WHS should NOT be encased in formaldehyde but i also think Liverpool's planners should do more to attract developers away from the WHS.
If they had the brains to accept Brunswick Quay tower then focus will shift away from the centre and along the waterways and possibly into the hinterland beyond the Dock Road once the waterways are filled - no developer is going to entertain any development away from the waterways or centre when waterway potential is still there. Brunswick Quay will attract development of the Otterspool Garden site, Harrington, Toxteth and Herculaneum Docks too.

Then the Heritage sites can be left alone and/or properly developed.
 

·
800th birthday in 2007
Joined
·
4,192 Posts
The Stereotype is the Liverpool is a city obsesed with the Beatles and music from 40 years ago, and will pimp itself out in return for a few sheckles by being BEATLES CITY!!
I would say that most people in this city are not obsessed with the Beatles at all, maybe with football yes. If you believe this then this is a stereotype you have in your mind about Liverpool. The Beatles tourism is just one aspect as WHS is now another aspect, along with football, Capital of culture, major golf tournaments, the grand national, night life etc.

So as you put it, we are pimping ourselves about trying to earn a few sheckles, but using a multitude of tricks to do so. This is what every other live and active city in the world is doing also, pimping it's offerings out to earn some sheckles.


I think WHS will be good for the city.
1) Help to stop important buildings/features from being demolished or destroyed.
2)Improve the quality of new developments in and around WHS area.
3)Like C.o.C, will be a vehicle to promote the city, in media and tourism.

WHS could also hinder new developments in terms of style and size, but then again, the planning department sometimes with advice from EH, already do this anyway.

In terms of ensuring prosperity for its inhabitants, i don't think WHS will have any effect, (maybe provide extra tourism work), as it is not about improving prosperity, but it could have an indirect effect, if the WHS area improves and develops at a faster rate due to increased interest in living in and developing the area, but this will be done by developers, business people, the council, regen agencies and not WHS.

The removal of WHS will have the same effect as gaining it on the economy, i.e. not much effect, thousands of jobs won't be lost, businesses won't strain under any pressure from WHS being removed. There will be a negative on the image of the city i.e. imagine the headline "Liverpool looses WHS title in fiasco farce, oh the bad old days again", but we would still carry on developing and growing as a city.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,293 Posts
Stephen Robinson said:
The Stereotype is the Liverpool is a city obsesed with the Beatles and music from 40 years ago, and will pimp itself out in return for a few sheckles by being BEATLES CITY!!
Liverpool ignored teh Beatles for two decades after they split up.

And they put two fingers up to this cliche by renaming the airport?
They don't. Most people I have spoke to, have said that renaming was a great touch.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,293 Posts
Liverpool8 said:
The whole city doesn't have world heritage status - just a small part of it.
Small? Huge swathes of the city are WHS. The status tells the world there is something special here. The best thing that has happened to the city since it chaged popular music over 40 years ago.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
18,269 Posts
I think this is an important time to go over some of the reasons why WHS is bad for a city that, except for a traumatising 20 year period, has constantly evolved and so should continue adapting to it's future needs and potential.

My first point would also be a question though. Before making definitive statements one way or the other it is vital to familiarise yourself with what WHS is and, most importantly, what it was established to do?

There is an ill notion that WHS, rather than being an excellent initiative established to offer protection to the worlds most ancient and significant archeological sites, under international guidence and strict obligation, the whole initiative is nothing more that a celebratory status, a vanity symbol, something that Liverpool can use like a PR badge - that Liverpool has a special place in the world's history and this simply recongnises that.

It is NOT a vanity badge as many seem to think, and for me what is even more irritating (and dangerous), is the absolute insistance that WHS is something that Liverpool can adapt, make it work for us, to interprate as and when, according to what developments or architectural styles come along. I also find a lot of supporters defending the designation using their ideas of what WHS should be and could be... this is not only dangerous for the city, as it fails to appreciate what WHS IS, it is also dangerous to the whole WHS campaign itself in the long term.

The initiative has no statutory powers in it's self, only the power of exclusion, as in any members club with rules. the danger for Liverpool is limiting ourselves in order to stay in the club. The influence and legal clout it gives is both in the underpinning policies it inspires (in order to maintain the designation and to fulfill the requirements of continued recognition and membership)

So I would ask that you first read all of the documents and some of the background information on UNESCO's site to find out what what it is, rather than what people may THINK it is, or worse, what they want it to be? All the links are in the link that L8 has provided.

So my first point would be that I am against the most important parts of the city (that do need to change and evolve if we are to generate and sustain any long term relavence) being set as WHS because it is a rigidly set initiative, established to protect "for all time" the fabric and physical apprearence" of the designated building or site. I am all for a strong and sound conservation policy that would protect buildings and most of the fabric we have that relates to the city's history, but for me WHS designation is simply the wrong tool.

I am fundamentally opposed to the aesthetics-based platform upon which WHS is founded being imposed (not simply interprated, to do this we lose the deisgnation) on a city that has, as part of it's healthy development, to undertake changes that will change it's appearence, function and cityscape. I am particularly against these tight obligations and support policy as is envisioned now in Liverpool, i.e. anti tall buildings policies, townscape analysis (with the intention of preserving, restoring and enhancing the main 'heritage' characterisation identified for the skylines, landscape and setting through the analysis) and neighbourhood characterisation (same as 'townscape' but analysed to the micro level of adjacent buildings and brick clour and patternation etc) We also have the 'X' list floating round as a result of the policy development that has been conceived of to enhance the maintainence of our WHS.

My final problem is the more problematical issue of the mindset amongst policy makers that see the tight restrictions of being of no importance to Liverpool, that we do not have the momentum and potential (never mind the inclination) to see growth, so we had best protect our best ECONOMIC asset, which is the preservation of Liverpool's characteristics as a Victorian port at the time of the height of power of the British Empire (pre WWI). seeing as we haven't had this landscape since the 1920s' then this means we have to revive it, hence all those deplorable interventions in planning right down to the scale, massing, template etc of individual buildings.. which usually end being of the utterly compromised 'Halifax' style of ideal heritage building.

Two other importnat issues I should mention, as they do seem to form part of people's notions of WHS are the ideas that
a. It will bring in loads of tourists and
b. It will tap £billions in heritage grants

Both are completly innaccurate, it actually says so in the nomination document! With regards to tourists it actually highlights UNESCOs' preference to LIMIT tourism, as too many can harm the asset and it's archeological remains, future understanding and potential. As for the money? The council had to stump up over £800k 4 months after the designation as it could not even bring in the funds to preserve St George's Hall, now if it doesn't succeed in drawing in money for SGH then what the hell WILL it attract money for?

We are seeing some new and strikingly different buildings going up on the watefront; this is not my contradiction. Please check out the response from UNESCO tothese "damaging" developments, particularly the comments of their CEO. I would just look at the other 'sites' that have been nominated? The size of Liverpool's is unprecidented, both the 'site' itself and the concept of the 'Buffer Zone'. it WAS sold to local politicos as nothing more than a celebration of Liverpool... and if you still have this idea that it will not adversely affect development then just think what is the buffer zone for?

Liverpool's acceptance was based on a con... of most members of the WHS committee, and nearly every politician in the city.


I strongly urge that everone fully reads up on WHS as it is dangerous to maintain any ideas that WHS is what you think it should be, rather than what it is, before making your absolute statement here.

It is also vital that this excellent thread is not destroyed like some of the others have been recently.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,293 Posts
Stephen Robinson said:
Didn't John Lennon bugger off out of first Liverpool and then the UK as fast as he could anyway?
Lennon constantly talked about Liverpool and was considering having a home in Liverpool, then was shot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,821 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
John-MK said:
Small? Huge swathes of the city are WHS. The status tells the world there is something special here. The best thing that has happened to the city since it chaged popular music over 40 years ago.

John, if you check out the link I posted it contains a map of where the WHS sites are located. Most of the city centre (Leeds Street to Parliament Street, University to the river) is not within the designated areas. Of course, this does not mean that WHS does not cast a shadow over the rest of the city centre. My concern is that LCC has become over reliant on EH's advice re the suitability of new builds rather than getting clearness from the organ grinder. With a bit of creative thinking, I'm sure that there's more room for manouvere than we're led to believe.
 

·
CENTRAL SCRUTINIZER
Joined
·
20,727 Posts
The Stereotype is the Liverpool is a city obsesed with the Beatles and music from 40 years ago, and will pimp itself out in return for a few sheckles by being BEATLES CITY!!
Well places like London and Hamburg seem to promote The Beatles so what's wrong with Liverpool doing it,the World's biggest band were from here after all and anyone who knocks us for it are just jealous.I've actually seen Londoners on this forum arguing that The Beatles were themselves Londoners because they lived there and recorded their albums there,they're desperate for a piece of the action or at the very least the people involved were.Are these the very same people who were calling for the Grand National to be moved down south a couple of years ago because they wanted a piece of that also?As for JLA didn't the man finish 8th in the 20th Century top icons poll they had,8th from 100 years of history now that's amazing,and at least we're not Robin Hood airport hey,and Kev was right WHS was a big two fingers to all those Southern snide remarks we've been bored to tears with for years so I'm all for it. :cheers:



Fidel Castro unveiling a statue of John Lennon in John Lennon Park Havana Cuba,now if they can do it surely we can? We have Strawberry Fields in New York,statues in Hamburg,even a street by Red Square in Moscow named after Lennon(not Lenin) before someone remarks on it so why shouldn't we be proud?
 
1 - 20 of 267 Posts
Top