The event itself, a week or so into the new year, will involve little fuss, simply a few households moving into refurbished flats. But the symbolism is momentous: a rebirth for one of Britain’s most infamous housing estates and a half-century of turbulent social history coming full circle. (the Guardian)
Urban splash have after eight years managed to renovate some of the Brutalist masterpiece Park Hill. It looks like the second incarnation won’t have the social baggage of the first and therefore has a much better chance of being successful.
George Monbiot makes the case for strong planning laws in the Guardian. I agree mostly, planning should be made in the strategic interests of the whole over a land grab by the few. Density, use, and reuse should drive the debate.
A Letter on planning from Prince Charles’s office is being kept secret. What is interesting about this is that it is being kept secret in order to preserve the Princes’ apparent neutrality. So the public body which blocked the disclosure of information, the GLA, can’t discern between the appearance of neutrality, and actual neutrality. Because the Prince has not been neutral he should be protected from information that shows he’s not. So Neutrality has been redefined as a protection of discovery of actual bias in favour of appearances!
I’m all in favour of Prince Charles being able to express his opinion about subjects he cares about but that they should be in the public realm. Public policy should be made publicly, and Neutrality is a duty of Prince Charles not his protection.
I found a set of images from the County of London Plan 1945 booklet which marks a milestone in visualising and planning for cities. Already being produced before the end of WWII when it came out in 1945 the brainchild of Patrick Abercrombie. The set on flickr is however missing a great map of Social and Functional analysis of London which probably prefigures the common idea that the city is made up of a ‘city of villages’ , also worth noting the ideas about redeveloping the South Bank, an area which is still being struggled with today.
And now MPs are feeling morose. Tough! They’ve had plenty of opportunities to do the right thing by parliament and by the people. At every juncture they behaved in the worst possible way. They refused legitimate requests, they wasted public money going to the high court, they delayed publication, they tried to exempt themselves from their own law, they succeeded in passing a law to keep secret their addresses from their constituents so as to hide the house flipping scandal … (via)
Remember a democratic society is an open society, so we’ve got to keep watching those bastards. Thanks to Heather and the other journalists who pursued this story.