Wednesday, January 6, 2010

University Bonds and City Developments

The plan to fund specific long-term projects using bonds is something that American universities in the top tier, and many rungs below, are used to.

Here it is such a novelty that it merits a story in a national broadsheet as well as the local paper.

The real debate will come when we look at what the money is for: "a development in north-west Cambridge and the redevelopment of two city centre sites, New Museum and the Old Press."

Given the City Council's invertebrate planning regime, all sorts of long-term mistakes can be made in the name of modern design and faddishness. Remember, these are the people who brought us the post-Soviet bleakness of Cambridge Leisure Centre, the only place in England where the car park is better looking than the hotel.


  1. Am I the only person who rather likes the hotch-potches of buildings that are both the New Museums Site and Mill Lane area?

  2. I'm not familiar with the idea of bonds issued by universities, but it doesn't look controversial; it's just capitalism. Or is that controversial these days?

  3. University College London was first established as a joint-stock company...

  4. Of course, UCL was founded primarily to counter the closed-shop "faith schools" of Oxford and Cambridge. Let us not forget its radical heritage. And, yes, I rather like the hotch-potch of Mill Lane, but then I rather liked the old Cattle Market site as well, before the various monstrosities of Cambridge Leisure and the Belvedere over the road. It wasn't the City Council who brought us these, but the various banks and developers who continue to build ill-designed rubbish on any piece of land on which they can lay their hands.

  5. Cambridge Lib Dems have a weak local plan which they defend weakly. They seem to have no will to stand up for the character of our city, so they certainly have some responsibility for what has happened.