Is our recession a bit 'Japanese'?

Todays’ papers and tweets are drawing parallels with Japan’s ‘lost decade’. That reminded me of our (JustSpace’s) exchanges with City Hall in 2010 where we were arguing that the recession would be long and deep, and exacerbated by public spending cuts. We argued that the London Plan should at least allow for the fact that this might be the future, even if their preference still was to treat the “recent downturn” as a blip. They really were so wrong and I just enjoyed re-reading the two papers they then produced, criticising our position. They aren’t on the GLA web site any more so here they are for the record:

20100903ED82PublicExpenditureLondonPlanStrategy (Japan discussion on page 3)

20101014Reply to Edwards

Has the Olympic legacy lived up to its promise?

Asked by Building Design to be half of a debate on this question

Find it in BD at You have to register but it’s free. Continue reading “Has the Olympic legacy lived up to its promise?”

"Regeneration" research note

Arising indirectly from the long saga surrounding UCL’s plans to develop a new campus on the site occupied by the Carpenters council estate in Newham, the UCL Urban Lab took an initiative to convene an informal meeting of London researchers and community groups on the theme of “regeneration’ research. The first meeting took place in July 2013 and my contribution was a short note calling for longitudinal studies of regeneration impacts. Discussion on this will be warmly welcomed – preferably in the form of comments here in the blog.

This is the note I wrote:  Regeneration research note by ME

A version of it is about to be published in a November 2013 Urban Lab pamphlet #2

HS2 – a comment

I was trying to keep out of this awful project but we had a request for support from tenants in Camden, part of the pan-Camden HS2 alliance, and I’m glad to say that three UCL Bartlett students offered to help (I’ll name them if they agree).  We took part in some meetings, wrote some structuring suggestions to frame the immense local and technical knowledge available and provided some editorial support. We hope it was helpful.  Will add some links when I have them.

On the last day for submitting observations on the “draft Environmental Statement”, yesterday, I added my own pennyworth.  This is it (links added).  Continue reading “HS2 – a comment”

London / demography / ¿new normal?

Rough notes from an LSE seminar (tidied up next day).  The question whether the new, larger, average size of London households is a “new normal” is from a presentation by Christine Whitehead, one of the speakers.

Christine Whitehead (slides will probably be on LSE web site in due course). Credits Alan Holmans (who will produce a new London housing needs assessment later this year). Continue reading “London / demography / ¿new normal?”