London Housing Density Map

A great map released by Emu Analytics showing housing density in London!

The map also consists of various layers to overlay such as tube lines and stations, non-residential building heights and boroughs.

The map provides valuable şnfo for researcher, activist and alike to understand severe housing issues in London. Click here or below to check it out.

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BEAUTÉ BRUT: The Brunswick Centre, London

Brunswick Centre Bloomsbury

The Brunswick Centre – an early experiment in planned mixed-use development of housing with retail and commercial uses – occupies a city block between the Russell and Brunswick Square Gardens, with Coram’s Fields lying to the east. The centre is well served by the nearby Russell Square underground station. (academyofurbanism)

 

Brunswick Centre

The Brunswick Centre ile ilgili görsel sonucu

The site was originally occupied by Georgian townhouses on the estate of the Foundling Hospital. During the mid 1950s this was bought by a private developer whose plan from the outset was to clear the site to make way for two 25-storey tower blocks containing luxury flats and retail. These proposals were resisted by the borough of Camden and the developer was recommended to the consult the renowned post-war architect Leslie Martin. He championed low rise development and maintained that an equal density of development could be achieved on the site with two parallel blocks. At this stage he handed the project to Patrick Hodgkinson to take forward. (academyofurbanism)

Development commenced in 1967 and was finally completed in 1972. However, the original developer went bankrupt during construction and the project was sold to Sir Robert McAlpine construction. The housing element was bound into contractual obligations and completed as per the original design. After the 1964 general election, furnished tenants were given security of tenure, and Camden Council agreed to rehouse in social housing all existing tenants. (academyofurbanism)

 

Brunswick Centre

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The compound appeared in various popular media pieces such as in the movie The Passenger (1975) as Jack Nicholson visiting the centre and even the Finnish group Lodgers wrote a song for the Brunswick Centre. It has been more than a half of a century, it is still alive and kicking!

(Image Credits: e-architect, Guardian, londonist, academyofurbanism, timeoutlondon,

A Home in A London Museum: Robin Hood Gardens’ Legacy

It is not news that Robin Hood Gardens in London is being demolished and redeveloped. The discussion behind has many sides such as redevelopment in favour of capital accumulation, loss of affordable units in London, loss of an iconic housing project, redevelopment vs refurbishment and the issues of blaming the social housing projects for the problems coused by factoring problems rather than spatial design issues.

Victoria and Albert Museum decided to exhibit a part of Robin Hood Garden. The move is interesting and eeri at the same time.

… a 26-foot-high chunk of the building, comprising one duplex apartment, will now enjoy a strange second life. It’s going to be scraped off the building’s carcass and preserved in the Victoria and Albert Museum, Britain’s national art and design collection, where it will go on display in the public galleries (possibly in an East London branch that’s due to open in 2021). A remnant of Britain’s great 20th century social housing experiment will end up not as somewhere to live, but as a museum exhibit. (CityLab)

The Museum will exhibit the part at the Venice Architecture Biennale by reessembling it for a Biennale exhibition. The curator of the exhibition also points out the strange way of exhibiting an architectural piece:

Olivia Horsfall Turner, co-curator of the exhibit, said she expected it to stop people in their tracks. “It is obviously something that is very strange – it will look quite bizarre to see this fragment in Venice less than 50 years after it was constructed.” But she hoped it would prompt people to look again at the architects’ original ideals and how “they can inform and inspire current thinking”. (Guardian)

The Robin Hood Gardens, 2010 (Image Credit: David Levene / Guardian)

As O’Sullivan put clearly, this is far from being a conservation attempt:

At least the V&A’s façade plan will preserve some partial memory of what the place looked like—and maybe spark some debate—even as it serves to embody the evisceration of London’s public housing. But conserving a building’s skin while destroying its heart isn’t historic preservation. It’s taxidermy. (CityLab)

 

 

(Image Credit: Architectural Journal)

The Alexandra Road Estate: An Interesting Experiment

The Alexandra Road Estate: An Interesting Experiment

Municipal Dreams

In the sixties, London was swinging and Harold Wilson had promised a new Britain forged in the ‘white heat’ of a technological revolution.  That may have been hype but something of it resonates when you look at Camden’s Alexandra and Ainsworth Estate – Alexandra Road or even Rowley Way to its friends.  There was hope in the air and Camden was well placed to capture it.

The Metropolitan Borough of Camden was formed in 1964 and comprised the former boroughs of Hampstead, Holborn and St Pancras – respectively intellectual, wealthy and radical. It was also the third richest borough in London in terms of rateable value.(1)  Add the politics of a young  and ambitious Labour council, for whom ‘the main aim was more housing – beginning and end’ and conscious of its flagship role, and that made for some of the most exciting council housing of modern times.(2)

Rowley Way © Martin Charles Rowley Way in…

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Land and Housing Supply: It’s About More Than Just Build out Rates

We have started a new project at CaCHE on housing supply and its discontents in the UK:

Perhaps one of the biggest political and societal challenges of our time is housing supply. Even the UK Government thinks the housing market is broken and our biggest housebuilders say they alone won’t be able to deliver the number of homes necessary to meet policy ambitions. In England, the growing lag between planning approvals and housing completions is given as one explanation for the sluggish speed of housing delivery and is of increasing political and popular interest. Yet, build out rates form only one part of a much more complex set of processes that determine the speed and mode of speculative housing delivery. How housebuilders interact with land markets, make product selection choices and manage construction programmes are also likely to influence supply outcomes. …

It is for these reasons that we have chosen to focus our exemplar project on a systematic review of existing evidence around how the speculative housing supply system currently works and consider the limitations to its current operation. In doing so, we will be able to evaluate whether, and to what extent, the speculative housebuilding industry is able to address new demands in the supply side of the housing market and reflect on how policy solutions brought forward to address housing supply problems have been effective or otherwise. (CaCHE)

To read the details of the project, click here.

Follow CaCHE blog and stay tuned!

And That’s How the Tube Map Was Born!

We all love metro maps, which is clear regarding the franchase produced with them. Mugs, ties, tot bags,….

But, how the idea came to life is a different story.

Small Thing. Big Idea., a TED series “celebrates the lasting genius of everyday objects so perfectly designed that they changed the world around them”, presents the creation of one of the greatest maps of all times : the metro maps!

Click here to watch! Enjoy!

Brexit and the City: Exodus from London?

Brexit is expected to effect many industries in the UK and the finance is on the top of the list. There are various assumptions, predictions and possibilities discussed since the Brexit vote.

Reuters has recently published an analysis on the change in the city related to finance sector in London.

Will Britain’s decision to leave the European Union in 2019 damage one of its most successful industries? Some politicians and economists predict London will lose its pre-eminence as a financial centre after Brexit, although supporters of leaving the EU say Britain will benefit over the long term by being able to set its own rules. Reuters assesses the fortunes of the City through a series of indicators that suggest signs of a slowdown, but no transformative decline. (Reuters)

One of the most important indicator is the jobs in this sector in London. Although it is too early to conclude a complete exit from London. The numbers show a tendency of dropping creation of new financial jobs.

The recruiter found 51,922 new financial services jobs were created in the first seven months of this year, a 10 percent drop compared with the same period last year. This was the lowest number of jobs available since 2012. (Reuters)

(Image Credit: Reuters)

The analysis also shows a decrease in transportation.

The number of people using the underground rail network at Bank and Monument stations in the heart of the City is on course for its first fall since the final year of the global financial crisis, according to Transport for London data. In Canary Wharf — a once defunct docklands now transformed into another hub of global finance in east London — the number of people using the station continues to rise but the pace has slowed.

London City Airport, favoured by executives for flights to European cities and beyond, had a slight increase in passengers in the first six months of this year with recent figures in decline.(Reuters)

(Image Credit: Reuters)

The analysis shows that it is early to conclude a total financexit from London. However, there are strong signs of its decline in near future. All these perhaps up to the results of the Brexit negotiations undertaken currently and their results will determine the finance industry’s condition and its effects on the city itself.

Visualisation of Airbnb Through the Years

Kor Dwarshuis visualised Airbnb boom in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin and New York since the foundation of Airbnb to 2017.

The maps show the striking increase in the numbers as well as the distribution and clustering of the Airbnb flats in these cities.

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The maps also pose a question of the commodification of the couch as well as the scale of the unregulated holiday lets in these major cities.

It is also quite fun to explore 🙂 Click here to see more.

Another Embodiment of Housing Crisis: Co-living Spaces

Helen Lock wrote for CityMetric on recent trend of co-living and its discontents.

Co-living buildings provide small apartments or rooms as well as communal spaces such as a library, restaurant, or co-working space. Freelancers or entrepreneurs can get work done, then sign off and mingle with people doing the same thing in the evening.

But my knowledge of housing is what I’ve learnt from my own expensive, mould-laden, experiences of renting, and I was initially quite taken with the idea. I am, after all, a target demographic for the model: freelance, young, jaded by private renting and unlikely to ever own my home.

Instead of worrying about those concerns, I could embrace being, “mobile” and “experience-led” along with lots of other people in the same situation that is, if I were to put all my trust in the developers I’ve spoken to. “People don’t care about ownership, nowadays,” I’ve been told several times by people, who, by nature of their very profession, own a lot of property. (CityMetric)

The article points out important issues regarding this trens such as its connections with precarious work and housing problems young, urban, professionals are facing.

While there are some positives in the model, such as the social aspect, it’s hard to shake the feeling that these options represent a sticking plaster fix to two converging problems: precarious work and not enough decent, spacious, affordable places to live.

Co-living spaces also benefit, in my opinion, from the current trend of seeing anything associated with words like “start-up” and “tech” as inherently exciting and good – and therefore not requiring much scrutiny. Housing experts say that  building standards in such spaces are often lower than normal. (CityMetric)

It shows a different version of commodification of urban space by packaging various everyday experiences in these establishments as well as providing very limited living spaces with higher costs.

The article provides some insights about these issues, see the article for details here.

 

Urban Europe

Urban Europe, a comparative report on cities in Europe, was recently published. According to CityLab the summary of the report is

If you want to live in a European city where residents think affordable housing is easy to come by, avoid London and head for Ljubljana. That’s one of the possible conclusions to draw from a massive new report on European cities published by the E.U. (CityLab)

Although the report is not just about the housing issues, CityLab analysis has a point: “According to Eurostat’s 2015 Urban Europe report [PDF], published this week, most European big city residents feel that decent housing they can afford is increasingly hard to come by.”

Have a look at the spike below:

 

Of course, it shows the change in the cost of living in London!

Click here for checking the report.