Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Key questions

The draft LVMF is based on assumptions about how we see London and its landmark buildings. For guidance that suggests (and in many cases insists against) changes to the city based on a visual assessment methodology, the LVMF appears to offer no proof, nor measurement of the visual claims made - of impact/dominance etc. By ignoring the possibility of empirical measurement of matters relating to visual perception, the LVMF is left solely as opinion: 'the Mayor's wishes' . Surveying what is visible or not is relevant, but analysing what we notice, and remember is altogether more important.

We believe that once research and analysis is applied, London could benefit from a better understanding of how we view the city around us; what is really important and what is not.

Measurement also has the potential to redirect energy from tail-wagging-dog planning (as the LVMF appears to be currently) to more appropriate guidance. We hope that by posing these questions, a wider debate will build.

Key questions:

1. Why does London treat these viewpoints as if they were sacred and not review the assumptions made when they were first chosen? (many continue from RPG3a, to LVMF1, to new draft). We hope that the London Plan EIP will do this if the LVMF cannot.

2. Why is there an assumption throughout the LVMF that 'separating' new from old buildings will 'protect' the older one? This is an assertion without foundation and the inherited assumptions that remain in the LVMF in this regard do London no favours; there is much evidence that juxtaposition of old and new is sought by the modern visual appetite.

3. Why, despite the brain's ability to clearly separate objects at different distances, does the LVMF, for the most part, treat London as if it were a two dimensional canvas? If London does choose to 'separate to protect', why does the LVMF not choose to fully acknowledge distance (depth) between buildings as 'separation'? Measurement of depth and perceived separation can be applied, why is this not included in the guidance?

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