Debate 2 – recording

On the eve of debate 3 recording for Debate 2 landed in our inbox. So if you could not make it watch it here:

The recording for Debate 3 shall be uploaded soon as well.

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Boris Johnson answers some questions…

The Green Party have done some sterling work in the London Assembly and posted a collection of answers Boris has given to the various questions raised about the proposed development in Crystal Palace.  This makes interesting reading…

You will also see questions raised by other politicians, including Val Shawcross who took part in our first debate, answered in this section.

Darren Johnson asks Boris

Darren Johnson asks Boris

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How would you spend £2.4m on Crystal Palace park?

There has been much discussion about the need to improve Crystal Palace Park. Now, a range of improvements are being proposed, which could be achieved or implemented in a relatively short time period as part of a plan to invest £2.4 million by the Mayor of London and Bromley Council.

The proposed projects have already been publicly discussed and are largely drawn from the widely consulted 2007 Masterplan, the Heritage Lottery Fund application, and community feedback. The booklet at this link on Bromley Council’s website contains details on the projects and this latest consultation seeks to establish a list of prioritised proposals as part of the £2.4 million scheme.

This is the web address that explains each of the park “options” being consulted is at:

This is web address for the consultation survey is at:

Indicate your preferences by allocating “20 points” across the projects that you think are worthy of funding. Please ensure that no more than 20pts in total is allocated across one or more projects you wish to support.


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Donate to support The Information Project

The Information Project is a not for profit local community group and is fundraising to ensure that the proposed development in Crystal Palace park has input from local people. Please donate here to support the upcoming debate and future plans for a visioning exercise –

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Debate 3: What is Culture in the 21st Century? Heritage and Legacy: In the Shadow of Dinosaurs

25 June 2014, 7:30pm, Salvation Army Worship Hall, Westow St, Upper Norwood, SE19

Continuing the theme of Who owns culture, the premise of this third session is to discuss and develop the strands that link from historical precedent to current trends.

In this session we will be using the comparison of historical trends that shaped the original Crystal Palace / Crystal Palace Park with the new emergent trends in urban space.

  • Should Crystal Palace Park be a destination (again; or, is it already?) – the notion of the urban-cultural-tourist is more than a savant-flaneur and seems to be driving economy more and more in London.
  • The post Olympic Legacy created an illusion of large-scale festivity which seems unsustainable – and the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre has been demoted making it a major loser from the Olympic Legacy.
  • Does Crystal Palace need regeneration? Or is the geo-political boundary making it unsustainable to subsidise a peripheral amenity which better serves neighbouring populations. And is it right that in austerity times that finances prescribe civic pride and opportunity?
  • Is private development the only way to germinate community? Are there policy mechanisms or other means to avoid removing a public amenity from the public purse?


Dr John Bold, reader in architecture, former head of architecture for the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England

Leo Hollis, historian and urbanist, cities are good for you

Peter Wynne Rees, professor of Places and City Planning, The Bartlett, UCL

Dr Jan Piggot, author and historian, Palace of the People


Wendy Shillam, Director, Urbaneye


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Debate 2 – Play / Space: innovation in the 21st century metropolis

Continuing the theme of ‘who owns culture?’, the premise of this second session is to discuss and develop ideas of the outside in the urban setting.  The vacant symbols of past occupation haunt the spaces of Crystal Palace park, and in those too there can be inspiration. The panel will reflect on the social and physical benefits of ‘play’ and ‘space’ with multi-generational use.

Questions to be asked and debated include: how do people interact with the park? what are the methods for engagement to provide a catalyst for sustained, safer use? Discussion will include practical aspects of design and management for facilitating an open learning resource, creating opportunity for play and keeping the sense of open, democratic space. Alternative trajectories for the park as a community benefit across all ages will also be considered.

The concept of the park can be used to reinforce community ties, and as Crystal Palace sits across five boroughs, the aspect of it being ‘on the edge’ of geopolitical borderlines provides an energy that makes it a special place. The panel will debate the question whether through stakeholder involvement, is it possible to mesh consensus with differences to maintain the rich urban vitality in the future?

Debate 2: Play / Space: innovation in the 21st century metropolis, 28 May at 7:30pm, Salvation Army Worship Hall, Westow Street, Upper Norwood

Guest chair: Katharine Heron, Professor of Architecture, University of Westminster


David Burchett, operations manager, Learning through Landscapes

Carlos Cortes, visual and movement artist whose practice involves public space and communities

Tim Gill, writer and consultant, Rethinking Childhood

Saskia Sassen, Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology, Columbia University, Co-Chair, Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University

Ben Stringer, academic, trustee Oxford City Farm Project

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Latest news

No more information will be given out or drop in sessions held by Arup, consultants for the ZhongRong Group according to Jerome Frost, an Arup director, until more is known about the project. Bromley Council continue to negotiate with ZhongRong Group. The leader of the council, Stephen Carr, said at the local elections hustings in Crystal Palace on 7 May that Bromley Council still do not know what is going in the development. You can view a report here of Mr Carr’s comments about the development at the hustings here –


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