In light of your reference a while back to The Prince of Wales “loathing” BedZed and not caring about green building issues (Hansom, 7 January, page 23), I thought you would want to be aware for future reference that: The Prince of Wales has a well-documented passion for environmental concerns going back many years (see, for example, his landmark work for the 1992 Rio Summit, considered crucial by many); that Poundbury in fact features INTEGER housing, and perhaps more importantly, compact, integrated, auto-reducing Urban Design; that we at the Prince’s Foundation held a conference last July on “Building the Future” on sustainable architecture and urbanism, and have debated the positive and negative aspects of BedZed; and that we are collaborating with the Peabody Trust and have talked with them about BedZed and its lessons – positive and negative. I realise, however, that it is very tempting to follow the more entertaining tabloid view of these matters.
I would welcome you at any of our upcoming conferences, where you might hear environmental scientists such as Herbert Girardet and Brian Goodwin, policy people such as John Prescott and Keith Hill, hard-nosed researchers such as the BRE, modernists (egad) and also traditional practitioners from the RIBA.
I would gently suggest that you’d see that there is not, in spite of some uninformed caricatures, a black-and-white division between the camp of “wonderful modernist progressives” on one side and imagined “reactionaries” on the other … On the contrary, things are much more interesting than that.
Michael Mehaffy, director of education, The Prince’s Foundation