This is roughly the text of a talk given on Friday 11 November at an Urban Geography conference called Alternative Urbanisms, held in UCL. Comments, criticisms and suggestions very welcome. Main text follows the abstract. Slide show not included because of some copyright problems. Email if you want to look. Very constructive review/ writeup by blogger George Carothers at http://www.thepolisblog.org/2010/11/sharing-city-on-knowledge-and-academy.html
This paper tries to sketch an alternative future for London arising out of the current crisis (seen in broadly Harvey-ish terms), the need for some big jump out of the prevailing orthodoxy and the (relatively) mundane but stimulating experience of taking part in the Examination in Public of Mayor Boris Johnson’s slightly adjusted version of Ken Livingstone’s London Plan in alliance with a lot of citizen groups.
It is conventional in left circles to deplore utopias and instead to stress that a better future would and should be forged through dispersed innovations emerging from successive struggles and contradictions. Continue reading “A London utopia”