The Duke of Edinburgh introduces a special season and conference

‘The most singular feature of this whole project is that, as far as I know at least, this is the first time a television company, Thames Television, has become so deeply involved in the organisation of a project of such great public interest. It must also be the first time that a television company has managed to establish what might be described as two-way communication with the public, through a series of programmes, articles, surveys, and a book devoted to London’s problems and the future. A real effort has been made to draw out attitudes and ideas from every possible source. And if this meeting does nothing else, it will put on record what a comprehensive cross-section of Londoners thought of their city in the late 1970’s. And I just wonder how many other capital cities could claim to have done the same? This is not just another exercise in formal democracy, with its statistical judgements expressed through the ballot box. And it’s not another conventional assessment by professionals. It is a deliberate attempt to question all sources of opinion and information, to find the explanation for such phenomena as the steady departure of people from the capital – over and above the deliberately planned exodus – and the radical, demographic and employment changes of the existing population. It is a positive response to this situation by people who care about what happens to London, who want to go on living and working and enjoying themselves in this marvellous and ancient city.’

HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in his opening address to the London Looks Forward Conference, 4 July 1977.

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Categories: Looking forward

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