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

HBF Policy Conference 2019: ‘Confronting the housing crisis’, John Stewart memorial presentation

On March 26th, Christine Whitehead spoke at the Home Builders Federation (HBF) Policy Conference 2019. Her presentation, entitled ‘Confronting the housing crisis’, was the first in what is to become an annual series of memorial presentations honouring the life of the late John Stewart, HBF’s former Director on Economic Affairs. The conference brought together different industry stakeholders to discuss key issues around planning, modern methods of construction, the current and future housing… Read More

Day 16: Density [M39]

BLOG: DENSITY (PDF) Housing and Urban Form: Tensions in the London Plan |Examination in Public Prof Ian Gordon | LSE London Research commissioned by the LSE, Knowledge Exchange and Impact fund Density Policy, the Disappearing SRQ Matrix, and the Question of Who Should Safeguard Residential Environments in London – the Mayor or the Boroughs            Since the structure of the EiP follows that of the New London Plan itself, it keeps intersecting with… Read More

Day 13: Affordable housing [M24]

BLOG: Matter 24 (PDF) Housing and Urban Form: Tensions in the London Plan |Examination in Public Kath Scanlon | LSE London Research commissioned by the LSE, Knowledge Exchange and Impact fund Giving evidence at the EiP: affordable housing It’s 26 February, Day 13 of the Examination in Public of the Draft London Plan, and on the agenda is a central issue and one of the most contentious: affordable housing. Christine Whitehead and… Read More

Can we grow food on the Green Belt?

London Talks Blog Post by Zach Jenson The Metropolitan Green Belt that surrounds London has always been host to some level of agricultural activity, but in recent years the discussion has intensified around how this land should be used, and whether increased food output should play a role. Is this the best use of the available land? If so, what is the most equitable and valuable way to do so? What kind… Read More