From brewing to blandscape

Beer and now: New lease of life for old brewery sites

Iconic buildings shape identities–both individual and collective–and this includes historic breweries in Britain.  Brewery closures and subsequent demolition can be disruptive for communities who have long identified with the brewery–buildings, beer, branding–particularly if they are replaced with the shapes and surfaces of “nowhere land”.  Is this taken into account by the local government officials, developers and architects who oversee what comes next?

A researcher quoted in the piece:

“People become disorientated. They lose a connection to their city. This creates a sense of alienation which can have spin-off effects in terms of losing a sense of community.  It’s not an argument for preserving everything–that’s not a practical proposition–but it’s an argument for people to realise they have huge cultural capital invested in them.”

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Where white elephants roam amid “modern ruins”

A year or so ago a friend took me through the Marina d’Or development near Orpesa in Valencia.  Slowly driving up and down the deserted avenues of high-rise holiday apartments, I experienced a peculiar mixture of awe and aversion.  Never mind the environment, or local people’s interests, or indeed the cultural heritage that this place might once have afforded, here was economically irresponsible tourism development—grossly misjudged speculation—and it was staring me in the face.  It was ghostly, sickly, tacky and surreal.  (And Castellón airport lay redundant just miles away, and along with it, millions of Euros of public investment.)

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