Bob Colenutt and I have both gained Leverhulme Fellowships to research, write up and disseminate ideas about how the dysfunctional urban development mechnisms of the UK can be replaced by ones which are fairer, more stable, better value for citizens and more collective than the market individualism which has recently been dominant. My bid said “This project analyses the underlying instabilities and inequalities of the market-led urban development model dominant until its current crash, and the potential of alternative models. The project draws together, updates and synthesizes professional experience, academic research and international network learning from the past 4 decades. The UK’s recent models for urban— especially housing—development have proved uniquely deficient, failing to provide good housing for all, redistributing wealth regressively, failing to capture revenues for infrastructure or collective services or to upgrade the stock for sustainability. My theoretical work and analysis of other European models offers appealing alternatives.”
The parallel bid by Bob Colenutt (University of Northampton) said: This research examines the potential of community-led land and property development for the renewal of deprived urban neighbourhoods. Pure market-led developments often lead to gentrification and displacement in deprived neighbourhoods. Many communities are seeking alternatives to this process. Using UK and European examples, the research examines the experience of community-led planning and property development schemes run by community development trusts and neighbourhood associations. It explores the challenges they face, and asks whether the current crisis in property markets creates an opportunity for this type of development to be a major instrument of urban renewal.
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