I was driving along the Westway, an elevated highway in London earlier this week and had a fantasy - call it the 49th Shire of England.
We like places that are centres of excellence. We like places that are havens - be it the Rothko Room at Tate Modern, neighborhood allotments, open-air music festivals or bombed-out waterfronts turned cappuccino boardwalks.
Art has its shrines to the avant-garde, like the Palais de Tokyo. Economics has its points of convention, like the World Economic Forum at Davos. Computer science: innovation centres like Stanford University.Yet the environment - and the issue of how to make our cities greener and better places to live - is dispersed to the winds of expert conferences, camps of environmentalists, property bazaars, the boardrooms of energy corporations or fantasy-making in distant Arabian deserts.
Parts of London have exceptional landscape.
Large sections of it may be pretty - but are a bit irritatingly same same.
How about taking a big section of park and programme it?
One year it is used to grow produce and a year-long outdoor classroom that acts as a focal point for the hundreds of food-growing projects in the U.K. and a meeting point for some of the world's most talented urban farmers - from Todmorden, Detroit to Cuba.
A salad-like installation might be cute.
In the third year of the crop-cycle, the space could become a focal point for one of those events at which city executives, architects, urban designers and engineers from across the world discuss how to create new sustainable cities from the places on our doorstep.
We could all go down to the temporary (but maybe turning permanent) Paradise City, have a giant party and ALL EAT CAKE.
What shall we call it?
PS. How to pay for it?
Maybe innovate around the issue and redemption of carbon credits.