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  • Matthew Locke

The making of great cities


V&A Director Tristram Hunt opened our fifth Future Cities Forum at Burlington House, London, this month, with a lecture on the 'making of great cities', past, present and future. Our forum was designed to gather research into the arts and sciences - led regeneration of cities.

In his talk - which you can listen to through the Future Cities Forum video link below - Tristram describes how the V&A Museum was born of ' a marriage of arts and sciences in the service of urban renewal'.

Today, he states, there is a healthy 'mashing together' of the two cultures brought about through the explosion of the digital economy. This he says is a return to the Victorian ideals of the 1850s when the energy and innovation of the UK, its empire and its competitors, were all celebrated under one roof in the Great Exhibition.

The V&A is now going out to work in regional towns and cities to encourage a new approach to design and technology teaching between the ages of 14 and 19 because Tristram feels, this has been a real weakness in the UK education system and economy in the last few decades.

Tristram discussed how museums both national and local in the UK have ' the worst of all worlds' because many want to become independent Trusts so they can prosper at a time of government cuts and attract more funding from individuals and the private sector, but local authorities do not want to let them go.

Listen here to the audio of Tristram Hunt's talk:

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