Making Mountains


I saw this wonderful idea this week through some new friends we have met digitally and wanted to share it with you.

One of my colleagues passed along Linda Carroli’s Placeblog and after reading into her twitter feed I came across this The Berg.

The idea was hatched by a German professor who wanted to build a man-made 1000metre mountain on a disused airport in the middle of Berlin. The website throws up some interesting ideas, images and even a Facebook campaign which has encouraged users from around the world to make suggestions for alternative sites for their own mountain.

Now while I wholly support a mischievous attempt to throw off the shackles of conventional town planning, (possibly a throw back to my punk days): It is clearly stated as a faux concept and not formulated for actual conception.

But, and I know this is a big but, could we ever envisage a future where an artificial natural icon of this magnitude would be considered as a focal point of urban planning?

From Victorian times city centre parks and gardens served to remind the city dwellers of the beauty of natural spaces and often urbanites enjoy natural retreats within towns more than a well crafted building. I hope that in the future there will be provision for creating an urban geo-graphical feature of this size. I for one would appreciate the capability for enjoying outdoor pursuits like cycling and walking in natural albeit man-made environments if they were within ten minutes commute from my city centre flat!

The problem is that town and city centre space is important economically, therefore the idea of de-commodifying it and having space dedicated to non-economic activity is, at the moment, unthinkable.

In fact we are having a debate centred around this very subject on the 1st of October, should you be in the vicinity, please come along. The official bumph will start to wind its way to you very soon, but do keep it in mind. There will be a chance to meet up with Anna Minton who has just written a compelling book ‘Ground Control’ which looks at ownership of cities and places on a macro-level. Plus we’ll be laying on the wine and nibbles afterwards for a bit of networking.

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