Every so often we come across a report or commentary which looks at a particular issue recognising the problems and issues and producing some new sensible ideas. But our optimism is usually misplaced as we discover that underneath the veneer of originality the same old tired ideas are lurking!
The paragraph below is from a ‘Guardian’ report on the way in which London impacts on the rest of the UK and creates problems for the people who live there, particularly housing.
Here are a few recommendations, as outlined by Danny Dorling, a professor of human geography at Oxford University and a member of the London Fairness Commission, to start the discussion: more high-density, affordable housing; rent regulation; looking again at the green belt to see what’s ecologically important and what isn’t (an area the size of Kensington & Chelsea is given over to golf courses). We could also consider a ban on central London dwellings of fewer than five storeys, which is the density needed to sustain street life – central Barcelona is four times as dense as London, and still a lovely place to have a pastry in a pavement cafe.
Oh dear! More high density housing, building on green areas – ok golf courses may not be ideal for wildlife but to develop them?
And of course no reference to the unsustainable population growth which is a major issue for London and the UK in general.
No mention of dealing with the ‘demand’ for luxury housing!
Nothing about the role of developers in concentrating on luxury housing developments.
Rent regulation sounds fine but it does not deal with the real issues.
Sorry but we need better analysis than this, one that breaks away from the current neo-liberal economic discourse and obsession with population growth.