Relationship Counselling: London and its boroughs, neighbours and central government

The Final Event was structured around discussion on where and how more effective relationships between the GLA and local authorities, the GLA and the Wider South East; and the GLA and central government might be secured. This was led by three pairs of speakers, including four of those whose contributions to the EiP notably addressed this relationship issue as well as two other practitioners with directly relevant experience. The topics covered in… Read More

Conflict or cooperation? Looking back at the EiP

The Final Event Three years into the life cycle of this Mayor’s London Plan – although the next election looms before we can be sure about its final form. It is time now to shift gear – from critiquing ‘his’ Plan to thinking about collaborative ways of improving outcomes from the process and finding a way of ‘failing better’ with the next one. In this final event we concentrate mainly on housing… Read More

RGS Vertical Urbanisms

Our density project (click here to the webpage for this project) explores the experiences of residents living in high-density housing schemes across London. We decided to look at different high-density building typologies (minimum 150 dwellings per hectare) to acquire a more general understanding of what density means, rather than focusing on high-rises. In this way our approach has differed from previous work on the experience of verticality (Baxter & Lees, Ghosh). Among… Read More

Learning from Bridport: the wider benefits of cohousing in the UK

LSE London’s Kath Scanlon, together with Melissa Fernández Arrigoitia (Lancaster University), Jim Hudson (UCL), and Swaiba Saeed (LSE) conducted a research project for Bridport Cohousing in Dorset. The report, entitled ‘The wider benefits of cohousing: the case of Bridport’, explores how Bridport can be expected to benefit its wider neighbourhood and community. Linking this case study to the broader literature, the authors hope the lessons will be relevant to prospective developments elsewhere… Read More

Can alternative housing ease the crisis?

By Meera Kumar & Zach Jenson When it comes to addressing the housing crisis in London, our current toolkit may be more limited than we think. By basing most of our proposals and ideas on traditional housing models like single-occupancy homes and flats, we fail to consider newer, more disruptive options. These include ideas like cohousing, community land trusts, and other ways of sidestepping the traditional housing market. Not only do these… Read More

Dichtestress vs. Dichtelust – reflections on perceived urban density

by Fanny Blanc (23 May 2019) On 7 May 2019, Fanny Blanc presented our aspects of our work to the ‘Perceived Urban Density’ workshop at ETH Zurich, organised by Dr. Beatrix Emo. Housing is an emotional subject. People identify with the place where they live and build their lives. When it comes to a topic so close to the heart, the difference between reality and perception is often blurred.  The focus of… Read More

Examination in Public: Roundtable 5, Thursday April 11th

Taking stock Aim of the roundtable The fifth roundtable was held at the point when the Examination in Public of the Mayor’s (draft) New London Plan had been sitting for three months and had dealt with 60 of its 94 Matters. At this point there was a month-long break before starting again (on waste management) and moving on towards completion of the hearings on 22nd May. It therefore seemed a sensible time… Read More

What type of growth should we be aiming for?

By Meera Kumar and Zach Jenson In a city like London, it can be easy to take growth for granted at times. Since the early 1990s, the population and economy of the city have grown substantially, putting pressure on housing, transport, and a number of other institutions in the process. While much of this is attributable to extra-national forces like globalisation and technological progress, it doesn’t mean that we are powerless to… Read More

Day 22: Green Belt and Metropolitan Open Land [M65]

by Alan Mace Green belt had already been discussed in earlier sessions including when the relationship between London and the wider region was considered. This session was focused on Policies G2 and G3 in the new London Plan which refer directly to green belt and to Metropolitan Open Land (MOL). The session opened with a GLA official making the best they could of defending an indefensible position. The Mayor has gone beyond… Read More

How is gentrification impacting contemporary London?

by Meera Kumar and Zach Jenson Gentrification has been a topic of considerable interest in London for decades now, but over that time the mechanisms by which it shapes the city have continually shifted. Which communities and practices are responsible for the bulk of the gentrifying, and which communities are disproportionately affected? Should we be paying more attention to new-build developments, or the growing trend in buy-to-let? How are people responding to… Read More