With the Tate Gallery of Modern Art due to open in 2000 in Southwark, one of Britain's poorest boroughs, the local authority is working hard to raise not only its profile but the quality of life for all those who live and work in this truly Dickensian quarter. To get things going, the borough and the Government Office for London (prop: John Gummer) have commissioned the Architecture Centre to organise and co-ordinate a design initiative aimed at breathing fresh life into local streets and public squares. Eight teams of architects have produced a variety of creative proposals involving some of Europe's most imaginative engineers, landscape architects, designers and artists. The initial results can be seen in "Future Southwark", an exhibition that opens tomorrow in a redundant car wash at 40 Southwark Street, London SE1 and runs until 21 July (Monday to Friday, 12-6pm; weekends, 10am-2pm). This is one of the most imaginative urban design initiatives in recent years in this country. Further details: 0171-839 9389Reuse content
The third in a series of talks organised by the RIBA Architecture with the Independent, "Making space for art - what does the public want?", is to be given by Charles Saumarez-Smith, director of the National Portrait Gallery, at 6.30pm, 20 June, 66 Portland Place, London W1. This is the third in a trio of lectures entitled "The Pulse of the City" looking at the cultural software that makes or breaks the identity of major cities. A third series is planned for the autumn. Tickets: call 0171-631 0460 between 1pm-5pm, Monday to Friday (credit card bookings), or, in person from the RIBA Bookshop, address as above.