Urban regeneration is a major discussion point in the construction world, with many plans to take areas that have fallen into decay and rebuild them with sustainable building materials online based on how people live in the present day rather than when the towns and cities were initially founded.
Some of these can take rather unusual forms, such as the contest to reinvent Croydon using the video game Minecraft as a design tool, and whilst many of these plans will be rejected, they could also end up like the Plan Voisin and inspire a design revolution.
The Plan Voisin by the French-Swiss architect Le Corbusier in 1925 was a radical utopian plan to tear up a huge chunk of central Paris which had long been criticised for being narrow, dirty and even in the 1920s was considered largely uninhabitable.
The idea was to demolish it entirely and replace it with 18 glass skyscrapers in a gigantic green space, with large shopping malls placed between them and a residential, civic and cultural centre placed to the west of the structure, preserving the best architecture from the area amidst the greenery.
It was a radical plan that stood at odds with much denser urban areas of the era such as New York City, but one that likely had no chance of being accepted given just how many people would have had to be relocated as a consequence.
This is, in hindsight, a blessing, as the district that would have been destroyed is one of the most beautiful and historic parts of Paris, but the idea proved to be monumentally influential.
It formed the basis of Paris’ La Defense business district, and the concept of districts filled with giant towering buildings did inspire the architecture and urban design of many modern cities, although they commonly avoided ripping up the old in favour of building alongside it.