Left critiques of British Planning

What left account can we give of British planning in recent decade(s)? I just spent an enjoyable but challenging time with a norwegian graduate student, Stale Holgersen, who has been in London studying King’s Cross and asked me this question. He has come across a lot of optimistic writing about “communicative planning” but not much else. We had a couple of hours (and a couple pints of Guiness) but I could not come up with much for him.

Can anyone help to paint the picture?? I felt very ignorant (and a bit self-centred / loneley) so do please help.

This is the email I constructed while we spoke.

in north america there is Planners Network since 1965+or-. Now we are starting a local counterpart

There really is not much critical / radical work on Planning in the UK since Ambrose and Colenutt etc

there was a book “the crisis of london” in 1990s
Thornley, A, Ed. (1992) The Crisis of London London, Routledge, which was fairly good.
Byrne, D (1995) ‘Radical geography as ‘mere political economy’: the local politics of space’ Capital and Class 56: 117 -138

On the state – bob jessop’s work, but not much connected with urban questions.

Then we got on to discussing London and the particular importance of real-estate capital (not just financial) in exercising hegemony over planning ideas for the capital. I suggested…

Coakley, J (1994) ‘The integration of property and financial markets’ Environ. Plan. A 26: 697-713,
and he must have written other things since then.

Edwards, M (2000) ‘Property markets and the production of inequality’ in A Companion to the City Eds. S. Watson and G. Bridge. Oxford & Malden MA, Blackwell, 599-608, 0 631 21052 0

Edwards, M (2001) ‘Planning & Communication in London’ CITY 5(1): 91-100,
includes a part on how financial and real estate interests became so dominant in london plANNINg between 1985 (GLC) and 2000 (GLA)

Edwards, M (2006) ‘What if the next London Plan were better?’ Planning in London

Maybe the best writer on urban issues from a marxist point of view
– but now a green politician in the EP
Lipietz, A (1977) Le capital et son éspace Paris, François Maspero
Lipietz, A (1985) ‘A Marxist approach to urban ground rent: the case of France’ in Land rent, housing and urban planning: a European perspective Eds. M. J. Ball, V. Bentivegna, M. Edwards and M. Folin. London, Croom Helm, 129-155
Lipietz, A (1992) Towards a New Economic Order: Post-Fordism, Ecology and Democracy, Oxford, Polity Press, 0-7456-0866-3,
Lipietz, A (1995) ‘Avoiding megapolization: the battle of Ile-de-France’ European Planning Studies 3(2): 143-154

italian who wrote thesis on King’s Cross:

richard wolff in zurich who wrote a phd on KX
Wolff, R, 1999 Popular Planning in King’s Cross, London: Kommunikative Vernunft im Stadtentwicklungsprozess, PhD Thesis, ETK Zürich

they are both members of INURA http://www.inura.org
and inura has produced 2 good books:

Paloscia, R and INURA, Eds. (2004) The contested metropolis: six cities at the beginning of the 21st century Basel, Birkhäuser, and see Simon Parker Review in CITY 9, 3 2005

INURA, Ed. (1998) Possible Urban Worlds: urban strategies at the end of the 20th century Basel, Birkhäuser Verlag, 3 7643 5986 2

Author: Editors


One thought on “Left critiques of British Planning”

  1. hello Michael
    This doesn’t pertain to your last post, it’s more to say hi, feel very inspired from tonight’s Olympic Action Group meeting at which your praises were sung and plans mooted to invite you both to next OAG meeting on Sunday 14/1, and to speak at our conference mid-April. Hope you can come to one of these.
    (Reply – touched an delighted. can’t do 14 january because of a field study with students. When’s the next meeting?? Michael )


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