My report on housing, land and rent out soon

June 5th, 2015

A year ago I was commissioned to contribute a report on housing to the Government Office for Science’s Foresight programme on the future of cities in the UK.  I did it, referees commented, I revised it, then it was (along with other papers in the series) held over until after the UK parliamentary election. Now the GO Science expects to publish it in mid-June.  Details will be here and on societycould.wordpress.com

I shall be giving a lecture about it at 1800h on 1st July at UCL (followed by drinks).  Admission is free, all are welcome, but it is essential to book – at http://bit.ly/1Ilq1Cd

King’s Cross: the dark side

April 19th, 2015

This post would have been on the web site of the King’s Cross Railway Lands Group but that group wound itself up a couple of years ago (and its web site is archived at the BL) so the post appears here for convenience. M.E. 19 April 2015

Thanks to William McClennan, a vigilant journalist on the (exemplary) Camden New Journal, we learned that Argent had sought to reduce the number of social housing and “Intermediate” units which had been agreed in their S106 Agreement of 2006. This variation in the contract was sought because the reduction in government grants for social housing now meant that the ‘viability’ of the scheme would, allegedly, be undermined. His article appeared on 9 April: http://www.camdennewjournal.com/news/2015/apr/axed-king’s-cross-social-homes-developer-bids-build-more-luxury-flats

A number of those people who had been involved in the decades of earlier struggles to secure more social housing got in touch with each other and decided to put together a protest in the hope of persuading Camden to take a tougher line or persuading Argent to honour their original commitments. Read the rest of this entry »

King’s Cross revisited

February 4th, 2015

This evening I heard a lecture by Peter Bishop who had been head of planning at Camden Council through most of the negotiations on the Argent development scheme.  These are some quick notes to help me remember… and later prepare for some further engagement with him/the topic. Read the rest of this entry »

London First / LEP report on London 2036

January 8th, 2015
London First and the London Enterprise Panel (LEP) have published London 2036: an agenda for jobs and growth. This is a report on the future of the London Economy, substantially prepared by McKinsey and Co for London First. It is their report to the LEP.
Some of us went to the launch of this report last night (Myfanwy Taylor, David Fell, Lucy Rogers and Kristina from the East End Trades Guild). We agreed that we should quickly try to assemble some comments and evaluation.
The report itself is a free download, linked from  http://justspace.org.uk (7.8mb. There is also a 14mb version – presumably higher-resolution – together with a video and some other stuff which they gave us on USB sticks, 101mb total.)
I just had a quick read and have these (purely personal) comments so far: Read the rest of this entry »

LSE seminar on London housing supply

December 10th, 2014

The trouble with Twitter is it stops me blogging. So for a change here are some notes from a seminar at LSE under HEIF5 today 10 December 2014.  Tony Travers introduction, Nancy Holman summary of how complicated everything is.

[earlier a reminiscence session with Tim Skelton, a retired surveyor who worked for MKDC from 1979 and is writing a book on MK, trying to catch us oldies before we die.  I seem to be one of the few who has memories going back through the whole master planning period.  may add some notes on that.]

Speakers at LSE Cheshire, Tonkiss, Hamnett,Negrini (ex Newham, now Croydon LB) Lammy. Read the rest of this entry »

Peter Hall #3 remembered by Nick Jeffrey

October 21st, 2014

This text arrived on 21 October 2014 from Nick Jeffrey who has agreed to it being posted here. Some observations from the celebration  of Peter Hall on 22 October are on Twitter at #peterhall

Peter Hall was a grand teacher.

I was one of the first dozen of Peter’s planning students and completed the MScEcon (Planning Studies) at LSE. I still teach there as an Associate, leading MSc Planning students, as well as first year Geography and Environment students on fieldwork across Docklands.

That initial course in Regional and Urban Planning Studies was pioneering both within planning education and within the LSE. It was taught jointly with the departments of Geography and Economics (Alan Day) and government (Peter Self). 1967/68 was the first and only full year Peter taught the course.  I understood that the initiative for the course came from Emrys Jones and he recruited Peter Hall to put it together and lead it. Read the rest of this entry »

Peter Hall #2

September 13th, 2014

I was asked to write a piece on Peter Hall for the (now mainly online) journal Planning in London (ePiL).  This is what I sent in.

Professor Sir Peter Hall died at the end of July after a short illness.  As befits one of the heroes and popularisers of planning at a global scale, obituaries have been appearing in a steady stream and more are surely to come.  This memorial note does not seek to run over the ground so ably covered in the best of these, some of which are listed at the end.

This note is simply an appreciation of Peter Hall’s contribution to the planning of London – and probably an incomplete one. Those who can add to the narrative are urged to do so. Read the rest of this entry »

Peter Hall

August 2nd, 2014

Peter Hall died a few days ago and I’m trying here to crystallise my experience of him while it’s in my mind, recording fragments and interpretations which could feed in to any discussion of how we evaluate him, or into any biography anyone writes. Read the rest of this entry »

New London Plan: responses

April 13th, 2014

10 April was the deadline for comments on the new London Plan. The Just Space web site has been active with preparations and now carries (22 and counting) documents submitted by activist groups and individuals.  It’s pretty strong stuff, on the whole, and I hope someone will start summarising it all soon. My interim attempt is on the front page of the JS site now but I hope it will be superseded soon. The main Just Space submission runs to 53 pages and is a very serious and detailed critique, edited together by Richard Lee. Read the rest of this entry »

new London Plan: Assembly Planning Committee

February 26th, 2014

This post is a quick paste-up of material I prepared for yesterday when I was invited to participate as a guest in the Committee’s first consideration of the Further Alterations to the London Plan FALP.  It is not exactly what I said because I wasn’t able to get all the points made, but there will be a webcast and perhaps a transcript later .  Michael Bach from the London Forum was also a guest and he made many very strong and some overlapping points.  I hope he’ll agree to his text going online too. Comprehensive summary in the Twitter stream of Myfanwy Taylor.

The Committee had prepared some questions (shown in bold). Read the rest of this entry »