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"Regenerating London: to develop, don't destroy"

"The capital's planning authorities should be keener on building up what is good in areas they wish to improve, and more cautious about knocking bits of them down"

Link to The Guardian

"...  Participation, in terms of democracy and London's ever-shifting demographic landscape, [is] all rather untidy. Untidiness makes work, and sometimes crystalises tensions, as the exercise of new neighbourhood planning powers has been demonstrating in part of Hackney and in Bermondsey.

"Maybe those powers have been badly defined, and are at risk of being misused by selfish, unrepresentative interests. But that wouldn't change the fact that local insights and local strengths should be bedrock factors guiding any programme of regeneration, especially if homes, shops and familiar facilities and are being earmarked for demolition in the name of improving the lives of those who inhabit and use them.

"In Responsible Recovery, a recent paper for think tank ResPublica, Julian Dobson writes – in a chapter called 'redefining regeneration' – that too often this has all got the wrong way round:
"In the most challenged places [across the country], people cling on. In streets earmarked for clearance under the Labour government's housing market renewal programmes homeowners, and tenants would often refuse to leave. People's attachment to place, family and community will often defy cajoling, compensation or coercion.

It can be tempting for policymakers to imagine that the problem is the stubbornness of the people. But look from the other end of the telescope, and you get a different view. From here, those who are 'hard to reach' are the policymakers and professionals."

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