In light of recent moves by London and New York mayors Ken Livingstone and Rudolph Guiliani to combat the dearth of visitors to their cities’ tourist attractions, what can design do to support their efforts?

‘All you have to do to see what design could do to support London and New York now, is to remember the impact of Milton Glaser and Wells Rich Greene’s I New York campaign in the late 1970s. At the time no one, not even New Yorkers, loved crime-scarred, recession-struck New York, but Glaser’s cute neo-Pop logo soon managed to change that.’

Alice Rawsthorn, Director, Design Museum

‘Over the past decade, design has been pre-occupied with selling stuff, when design has a huge role in making the everyday better for people. We need thoughtful information with a touch of character, and not superficial promotions. Because the only way to gain people’s confidence is with real products and services that improve the experience.’

Tim Fendley, Freelance consultant

‘This is about not getting panicked into arriving to a solution too quickly. It’s about re-education of attitudes, planting new seeds of ideas. We need to share the visionary spirit of architects such as Dougal Hamilton who successfully planted such seeds in the late 1980s. As we settle into the 21st century it’s about unlearning. We encourage people here [at Wolff Olins] to be more receptive, to maverick ideas from rising stars such as Phillip de Santos.’

Robbie Laughton, Creative director, Wolff Olins

‘The design of a tourist attraction that is inviting to those who live in the city as well as visiting tourists has to be a consideration. The London Eye is a good example. Since its launch there has been no downturn in visitors – it hasn’t been affected by the slump in tourism as other features of the city have been. Those cities that don’t have creative heritage for the future will feel the effects of the economic downturn.’

Julia Barfield, Partner, Marks Barfield Architects

‘I’m sorry, I have to pass on this one this time. There isn’t a neat brief that’s going to make short term sense of

the world we now live in. That’s definitely one for our painters, priests and poets. We need massive worldwide acts to counter what’s gone before.’

Tim Molloy, Director, Science Museum

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