For those of us who occasionally lose sight of the importance of what we do, Lord Foster has published a very timely reminder in last weekend's Telegraph.
Well designed, well thought out urban regeneration and development schemes genuinely can improve both people's lives and the wider environment.
The future of the mega city does not have to be the huge concrete blocks seen in Judge Dredd and, if urban planners have their way, they won't be.
we must grasp the fact that cities do not have to exacerbate social and environmental difficulties. Well‑designed, well-governed cities will in fact improve the lives of billions of people who will be newly urban by 2050. London in the 19th century provides interesting insights. As it exploded with migrants attracted to urban jobs, it became the world’s first megacity. And, like some megacities of today, it became over-congested, dirty, polluted and dangerous... But by the late 1880s London had turned itself round. It invented the first form of metropolitan government in the world and initiated a programme of investment in a wide range of infrastructure: sewers, housing, parks, public transport and much more....London is a reminder that big cities can be tamed, humanised and improved. But to do this, they require leadership, strong design and focused investment.