As a result of the shifting of its economic base from manufacturing to services, plus deeply rooted social issues that culminated in race riots during the mid-1990s, the city of Bradford began to rethink itself in 2003. Part of a mission by civic-minded individuals from the public and private sectors to find ways to revitalize the city and improve quality of life, Alsop Ltd. designed a twenty-year plan to promote new development by improving the public areas of the city. Unlike urban-planning initiatives that add buildings to the city fabric, this plan calls for the demolition of buildings to create a large park connecting several neighborhoods to the city center, where no significant public space had previously existed. The city hopes that the increased pedestrian traffic will encourage new retail and entertainment activities to develop over time. The master plan, both a design solution and a response to a social situation, allows for collective ambition.
Gallery label from 9 + 1 Ways of Being Political: 50 Years of Political Stances in Architecture and Urban Design, September 12, 2012–March 25, 2013.