My brother gave me for christmas Perry Anderson’s The New Old World (Verso 2009) and I have just finished reading it, mostly with huge enjoyment, and have learned a lot. I rarely read 500-page books (the last time was Braudel during a Greek island holiday ten years ago) but this one has grabbed all the time Continue reading “Europe: a ripping good yarn”
The Woodberry Down social housing estate in Hackney, subject of a “regeneration” scheme in which blocks are demolished to make space for private developers to build flats for sale and for a “city academy” school. This sign must be a lawyer’s attempt to prevent anyone claiming that the land is public and thus inhibiting its privatisation. The site is a fine hill top with long views. I sent the picture round the pnuk list as a new year greeting and Peter Marcuse replied, saying he would use it in a lecture in Taiwan (with attribution). Nice.
Later: London Federation of Tenants is campaigning (with others) against the displacement of social rented housing to make way for owner-occupers, legitimated on the grounds of “social mix”. See their submission about the draft London Plan. [Note added June 2011: Dr Suzy Nelson, U of Westminster, is working on a good critical account of this Woodberry Down ‘regeneration’. Watch out for it.]
Debates, discussions and solid work are building up as part of the consulltation process on Boris Johnson’s ‘Draft Replacement London Plan’ with a small but excellent group of UCL students working to support Just Space network of community and voluntary groups. Strong and rapidly-developing set of critiques at http://ucljustspace.wordpress.co The 22 strong submissions by groups in Just Space which came out of all that can be seen at http://justspace2010.wordpress.com
In December there was a seminar at LSE on the London Plan. The main presentations are here. In the mean time this is what I contributed. Continue reading “London Plan: powerful critique, alternatives”