This opinion piece was first published in Estates Gazette on 28.02.15.
Britain is experiencing the greatest population growth in its entire history, and much of that is concentrated in London. Never before has a British city gained more than a million people in just a decade. Extraordinary times call for a more serious response.
New household forecasts are one of those dry-sounding statistical releases that hide profound and challenging issues for all of us.
Last week’s projections from the Department for Communities and Local Government will affect where we live, and how. And countless local planning battles over these numbers, up and down the country, will determine whether we have any chance of solving the housing crisis.
What is the Green Belt actually used for? This week a joint report from Quod, London First and SERC, looks at how the Green Belt within Greater London is used, and asks whether parts of it could be better used. Continue reading
On January 6th 2015, or thereabouts, London hits an extraordinary milestone – the population finally catches up with its 1939 peak population – from now on it will be an all-time high. Has any other city in history bounced back from losing two and a quarter million people?
Seventy five years on: same population, but an utterly different city. Here I take a look at how things have changed.
Housing in the UK is “worth” around £6 trillion, but that value is very unevenly distributed. This is a map of total housing wealth in London, rather than house prices – a different view that shows just how concentrated the market has become.
Perhaps the biggest pitfall for the planning system is what behavioural science calls “status-quo bias”. We overvalue how things are now, and assume change will make things worse. Nowhere is this more evident than with industrial land, where we fight to protect the land-use patterns of an economic age that is now long-gone.
(This post was first published on the British Property Federation Blog.)
Is it time to redraw the map of London to reflect the reality of its huge economic pull on the wider south-east? New data released last week shows what an even “greater” London might look like.
Is it time the debate about the Green Belt got specific? It may have a part to play in solving the housing crisis, but only if we can make the really hard site-by-site decisions about where. This post aims to help start that debate on specifics, with a map you can explore.
Is London really “hollowing out”, as the international super-rich use a Chelsea address as an asset class, not a place to live? The idea gained momentum when the Census revealed the population of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) had fallen, leading to stories of “lights-out London”, but the reality is more subtle.