Going too fast…

A week with a lot of stimulating events and exchanges, and no time to write them up and digest them. It was a good start when I returned feedback on 45 essays – which had taken me ages to prepare and was a great weight off my mind. I get faster at most things but slower at that.

Then on Monday evening the LSE had a seminar by Ian Gordon – very stimulating and data-rich as usual – in which he was trying to work out why London has such high levels of worklessness. Part of the concentration of worklessness is, of course, an illusion Continue reading “Going too fast…”

Medical research v social housing: UKCMRI

Last night the proposers of a major new medical research centre at Brill Place (King’s Cross St Pancras) showed their scheme at a meeting called by Camden Council in Somers Town, the adjoining district.  There is huge conflict about this project because the site has long been earmarked for a mix of activty including social housing and community facilities, none of which could be built if the research centre goes ahead.  It was a fraught, tense, meeting at times with objectors expressng variously frustration, impotence and rage while the proponents were very civilised and rather peeved to be seen as anything other than battling for the public interest.  It tells us a lot about the balance of power in urban decision making, the weakness of the planning system and the transformation of democratic local govenment into a neutered facilitator of the city’s transformation.  This is a quick short note to capture some reactions and I may expand it later. Continue reading “Medical research v social housing: UKCMRI”

Victory at Queen's Market

After a lot of lobbying and a defeat at Newham’s Development Control Committee, local residents and traders are delighted that London’s new (and conservative) Mayor Boris Johnston has used his powers to REJECT the council/St Modwen proposals to replace the Queen’s Market with a new market + a lot of shops + a very dense residential development. The campaigns had been opposing the scheme because of the risks it would pose to the viability and cheapness of the market, and also because the housing scheme was only 14% ‘affordable’ housing. Boris has rejected the scheme because he regards a 30+ storey tower as inappropriate for the area. But a victory is a victory and there is great jubilation. More on their web site http://www.friendsofqueensmarket.org.uk

Good new book, good publishing story

From: Stale Holgersen

 

Hi!

 

Last year I submitted a thesis on the urban development and planning

process at King’s Cross in London. And currently I work as a

city-planner in Norway.

 

Last fall I received an e-mail from a German publisher – VDM Verlag.

They had read my thesis on the Internet (www.kxrlg.org.uk <http://www.kxrlg.org.uk>), and

proposed to publish it as a book. This book is now a reality, and can

be purchased online. The book is called “Class Conflicts and Planning

– A Case Study of Contemporary Development at King’s Cross in London”.

 

Continue reading “Good new book, good publishing story”

Ken Livingstone's mayoral term ended by [what? widespread stupidity + the Evening Standard ]

You did a lot of fine things in your 8 years, including

transforming transport from a downward spiral to an upward one,

good anti-war and foreign policy,

good on equalities, the living wage and so on.

But your Faustian pact with big business alienated a lot of your support, made many people grit their teeth while they voted for you, and has actually caused a lot of damage and intensified exploitation.

, Continue reading “Ken Livingstone's mayoral term ended by [what? widespread stupidity + the Evening Standard ]”

PGS / roof tax / S106

Mark from This Land is Ours sent round the pnuk list a resume on why the government has rejected PGS. I replied and outlined a better alternative….. (NB if you want to comment send an email to m.edwards [at] ucl.ac.uk because I have switched off the comment facility in this blog to reduce spam.)

Mark from This Land is Ours sent round the pnuk list a resume on why the government has rejected PGS. I replied and outlined a better alternative….. (NB if you want to comment send an email to m.edwards [at] ucl.ac.uk because I have switched off the comment facility in this blog to reduce spam.)

Continue reading “PGS / roof tax / S106”

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 … Continue reading “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.

Continue reading “Left critiques of British Planning”