Key Advice Blog

Deja vu for banks’ bad behaviour

Posted on: 22/05/2009

The world-renowned, non-conformist Canadian architect Arthur Erickson, who died yesterday, took on the banks over 35 years ago for financial practices without social, cultural or ecological standards. We could use another Arthur Erickson today.

His projects ranged from international embassies to homes for the homeless. He himself nearly lost everything at one point in his career.  The report in the Vancouver Sun reported he found building a complex for the homeless more ‘interesting’ than building condominiums for the wealthy.

In a memorable presentation in 1972, he said our global tourism habbit was the biggest threat to human culture, pointing out the highrise tourist hotels, surrounded by low-rise local housing.

The article on has this Arthur Erickson quote: “You, as bankers, cannot afford to be concerned with only the economic aspects of projects that you finance,” he declared. “There may be serious implications on the natural environment, on the urban environment, on human culture, which at some future time may even be considered crimes against mankind.”

Fast forward 37 years, I think it’s time for another lecture.

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