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"Elephant and Castle and beyond: what is the right way to regenerate in London?"

Link to The Guardian

"Two weeks ago, I asked readers to debate Southwark Council's deal with property giant Lend Lease for the redevelopment of the Elephant and Castle. The borough's Labour leadership had faced unflattering press coverage and renewed attacks from local campaigners after the price it had secured for the Heygate estate site, which lies at the heart of the wider redevelopment area, was disclosed. But if Southwark had got it wrong, what would have been right?

"I raised the question because it seems to me that London - and other cities - needs some convincing answers. Though sceptical about the claims made by Labour and Conservative boroughs alike for large-scale urban renewal projects of this type, and very well aware that the poorest residents of an area are often victims of its 'regeneration' rather than beneficiaries – I have, after all, been covering the Earls Court project for four years - I find the arguments of some of the more vocal critics of such schemes shallow and even contradictory.

"If an alternative approach is to catch on any time soon, it needs to be imaginative yet practical, have broad public appeal, and to stack up intellectually.

"I'm very grateful to the majority of contributors to a very stimulating comment thread. True, a minority were indignant that I'd reported Southwark's leader's defence of the Lend Lease deal, yet were unwilling or unable to offer a solid argument against it (to those people I suggest some further reading). But most of the thread was characterized by illuminating insights and exchanges."

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