Click above for what became the consented plan, plus Transport page.


"A whole generation priced out: London housing squeeze worsens as rents hit all-time high"

Link to Evening Standard
"London’s great housing squeeze has worsened dramatically, with prices and rents hitting new all-time highs.

"Prices have surged since Christmas as buyers flood into the market, while rents are going up at more than three times the rate of inflation.

"The average London home jumped in value by 2.5 per cent last month to a record £373,207, according to the Land Registry. Prices are now 7.1 per cent higher than they were a year ago."

"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."


Barnet Times: "New buyer for shopping centre in Barnet comes forward" (No, it's not Hammerson selling up at Brent Cross)

Link to web site
"A new buyer has been lined up for The Spires shopping centre, days after a deal with a major property firm collapsed.

"Owner UBS Triton had announced earlier this month it was finalising an agreement to sell the High Barnet shopping centre to Redefine International.

"But the deal, which includes the dilapidated car park site of Barnet Market, unexpectedly collapsed last week."


Daily Telegraph: "Primark owner confident British high street will 'regenerate' as it sees 23pc sales growth"

Link to web site

"Despite a dire few months for UK retailers, that has seen HMV, Blockbuster, Comet and Jessops fail, John Bason, finance director of Primark's ABF, said he was confident the high street would 'regenerate'. He said:
"I would be amazed if anybody is calling the end of the high street. The shape of the high street will change, but as it always has done."
"Recent retail casualties reflected the 'technological change affecting that sector', he said, as customers move online."


Sunday Telegraph: "Britain's housebuilders get back on the ladder to a boom"

Link to web site

"As in previous months, the housebuilding companies' financial results will continue to spell out the sector's upbeat story of repaired profit margins, as the companies:
  • build on land they bought more cheaply after the housing crash
  • move away from city-centre flats to family homes, and
  • continue to increase their sales from a very depressed base.
"... [While a government scheme is supporting] housing market activity, consumers' expectations of rising house prices may also be playing a part, incentivising people to look at buying now.

"... [But] any pick-up in the housing market, as with the housebuilding sector, is coming off a weak base. Despite the rise in mortgage approvals, they are still only around half the level they were before the financial crisis. Some may also argue that rising house sales and, as a result, prices, will continue to shut out first-time buyers, and should not be encouraged."

Link to web site
The Observer:
"Without affordable new homes, how do we build a better Britain?"

"The pre-crash long credit boom masked [various] strains: mortgage lenders would offer mortgages that were 100% or more of the property valuation, and often to dubious credit risks. In the process, they lifted house prices well beyond what incomes could normally bear.

"No more. Poor credit risks are being shunned. Moreover, the prospect that middle earners' incomes will be 3% lower in 2020 than in 2008, as the Resolution Foundation's commission on living standards reported, is a further blow.

"To make matters worse, the flow of first-time buyers in the decade ahead will be hit as ex-students defer purchase because they are shouldering £40,000 or more of debts from fees. British house prices, reckons the IMF, are up to 30% higher than they should be, measured by British income levels.

"Even allowing for government schemes, the bank of Mum and Dad, [fewer] planning restrictions, low property taxation and all the other factors supporting prices, it is hard to imagine they can do anything other than decline in real terms in the years ahead."

Bdaily: "Are car parks hurting the high street?"

Link to web site

"Car parks that overcharge drivers are damaging footfall on their nearby high streets, say two prominent bodies.

"A study undertaken by the Association of Town & City Management (ATCM) and the British Parking Association (BPA) suggests that car parks in mid-range and smaller centres are overcharging for spaces.

"The report used data on footfall, spend and centre quality to group locations and assess their relationship to the quantity of spaces and the cost of parking for the first two hours."


"The Man Who Tried to Change the Soul of Paris" (as opposed to the &£%@# Brent Cross Living Bridge)

Link to 'The Atlantic Cities' web site

"Forty years ago, Holley’s residential towers called Olympiades were the pièce de resistance of the city’s biggest renovation in over a century. Holley drew inspiration from Le Corbusier, who famously envisioned Paris as gridded, severe high-rises. Today, the towers sway between vitality and decay. Holley, who also worked on Montparnasse Tower and the Front de Seine, led controversial, sweeping projects to accommodate immigrants, baby boomers, and cars in 1960s Paris:
"I dreamed a lot, in those days. These were inventions and creations in advance of their time, and I dreamed a lot, and I realized my dreams, realized my utopias."

"The eight high-rises of Olympiades house more than 11,000 people, and stand on a massive concrete slab, 26 feet above the ground. Holley’s idea was to separate functions of this city-within-a-city, sorting spaces to walk, shop, and drive on different levels.

"Early on, however, newspapers raised alarm when citizens were evicted, and their homes razed for the renovation of the 13th. These were the first large projects in the city’s history carried out by private developers, not the government, which caused distrust." [We know the feeling.]

"Then, the Olympiades developers ran out of money." [Yep, we know the feeling.]

Mon 18 Mar: "Passivhaus"

Click above for Wikipedia, or passivhaus web site

"Sustainability standards like BREEAM and the Code for Sustainable Homes are environmental assessment methodologies; they are tools to assess and improve the environmental performance of buildings on a more holistic level than Passivhaus. They include, for example, consideration of the materials used in construction, water consumption of the building, provision of recycling bins, etc.

"Passivhaus is concerned with energy efficiency, which of course is a very important part of creating sustainable buildings, along with the comfort of occupants.  Passivhaus and BREEAM or the Code are complimentary, a Passivhaus that also addresses the wider sustainability issues in BREEAM or the Code may also achieve a rating under these schemes.

"Likewise, Passivhaus is a very good place to start, when setting out to attain the higher level ratings."

London Councils: "Pedestrians spend more money in town centres than motorists"

Link to web site
"The range of shops and services in a town centre is more important to visitors than whether they have to pay to park there, according to new research.

"London Councils commissioned consultancy The Means to review previous research done about the impact of parking and parking charges on town centres.

"Their report, The Relevance of Parking in the Success of Urban Town Centres, looks at whether there is a link between free or cheap parking and the amount of commercial activity at town centres across London."

Link to TfL and others (2010 report):
"Delivering the benefits
of cycling in Outer London"
"This is an exciting time for cycling. It is at the heart of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy (MTS) and some London boroughs are already leading the way by improving conditions for cycling and promoting its benefits.

"Outer London has a key role to play and is poised to reap the benefits of increased cycling. These include less congestion, cleaner air, healthier communities, and the economic benefits of more people making local journeys by bike.

"This report is based on a programme of research and aimed at those who set the priority for transport in local areas. By learning from pioneering cycling innovations, and drawing on the greater flexibility in local funding available in the new Local Implementation Plan (LIP) process, Outer London boroughs are in a better position than ever before to encourage people to get on their bikes and to make cycling a mainstream mode of transport and part of the local economy."

road.cc: "Slowing traffic speeds and properly separating cycle lanes result in..." [wait for it...] "fewer cyclists hurt on roads"

"Painted-on cycle lanes in the road had virtually no effect on cyclist injury"

Link to web site

"A programme of slowing traffic and separating bicycles in their own lanes are effective ways of reducing the number of cyclists being injured on the roads, a study has shown.

"Research at the Ryerson University in Canada, the biggest to be undertaken in the country, saw 690 cyclists who were injured in downtown Toronto and Vancouver between May 2008 and November 2009 being interviewed by researchers."


Siemens: "Isabel Dedring, Boris's deputy for transport, speaks about London infrastructure"

Link to web site
"What are the priorities for public transport in London over the next twenty years?
"The biggest priorities for us are increasing capacity and improving reliability, while ensuring a customer-focused approach in thinking about journeys."
How do you plan to get there?
"First, by upgrading the existing network. This means new trains, new signalling systems, replaced track. But interestingly, delivering capacity and reliability is not just about capital investments in existing stations, track and rolling stock. You can also get both capacity and reliability from how intelligently and efficiently you operate the system. IT can play an important role here, along with organisational culture.

Beyond that we are also building new rail links. For example the extension of the Northern Line to Battersea. And Crossrail, a West-East link that will take a lot of strain from the Tube system. In total the upgrades and new rail links will increase London's rail capacity by over 50 percent. This is particularly necessary given that the latest UK census shows that the rate of growth of London’s population is far outstripping projections."

(Siemens is supplying the fleet of new trains for the expanded Thameslink line, and presumably will tender for Crossrail trains as well.)

"You Are Where You Eat: Re-Focusing Communities Around Markets" - and other Placemaking postings...

Link to PPS: 'Placemaking blog'

"2012 was a big year in general here at PPS—and the same was true for the Placemaking Blog! We’ve had a blast communicating with Placemakers around the world through our blog, as well as through Facebook and Twitter

"And so, on a reflective note, we thought we’d put together a round-up of our top posts from the past year, organized by popularity. See anything you missed??"

"Elephant and Castle regeneration: what are the rights and wrongs?"

Link to The Guardian
"... Southwark's leader Peter John acknowledges that the regeneration plan as a whole will produce losers as well as winners among the area's poorer residents and others further afield as the inevitable rises in private sector rents and the general cost of living that happens when any neighbourhood moves upmarket take effect.

"However, the council is adamant that estates like the Heygate, dominated by social housing of an unfashionable kind, are bad for the people living there as well as for the wider community. And at the same time John insists that is mindful that regeneration has to benefit the existing elephant and Castle population. "We have to make sure that doesn't just mean new buildings with new people," he told London SE1 last year, "but new buildings with Southwark residents benefiting from the jobs and opportunities that come from that."

So if Peter John's approach is wrong, along with those of other London boroughs, Labour and Tory-led alike offering variations on essentially the same theme, what are the better, practical alternatives for improving neighbourhoods and London's supply of new and better homes? If there are trade-offs to be made, and balances to be struck, which priorities should prevail?

"In a time of government cuts and market downturn, who has a better bunch of ideas? These, it seems to me, are big and difficult questions. I'd love to have some big and clever answers. Can you help?"

NewStart: "A history lesson in the future prosperity of our cities"

"Global economic change affected the growth paths of all cities over the course of the twentieth century. Some more than others. For some cities the legacy of the past still overshadows their economies today. 

"But the story of change in urban Britain also teaches us that cities are not prisoners of their past. The right investments can lead to big pay offs in the future.

"Centre for Cities’ new report, Cities Outlook 1901, explores the evolution of cities across Britain since the turn of the 20th century. It reveals how and why cities have changed over the long run to inform policy for the future."

Link to 'NewStart':
"East London:
Who’s gained from its growth?"

"New data maps the rapid growth in east London since 2001.
But with evidence that gentrification is pushing marginalised people
to the outskirts, who has gained from the millions of pounds
spent regenerating the area?"


From 22 Feb: "The Road: A Story of Life and Death" (The A5, where Hammerson has permission from Barnet for a waste incinerator)

"Showing at the Tricycle Cinema from 22 February 2013.

"The film looks at the fortunes of people who have come from different parts of the world to live and work on or near the A5, of which Cricklewood Broadway forms a part. Filming is done in locations in Kilburn, at the Sir Colin Campbell pub and Marriot Hotel, and in Cricklewood, at Pedro's Cafe, The Lucky Seven, Beacon Bingo, and Cricklewood Homeless Concern."


Retail Gazette: "Small shops set out high street fears"

Link to web site

"The Government must incentivise small business entry to the high street in order to spur growth, MPs have warned.

"According to the All Party Parliamentary Small Shops Group (APPSSG), small shop owners are increasingly concerned over business rate increases and changes to planning and regulation policy and the Government ought to offer reassurance on these issues.

"Priti Patel, Conservative MP for Witham and Chair of the APPSSG, said:
"Small shops are the lifeblood of high streets across the country and the Government has a role to play in mitigating the increasing overhead costs that weigh down their businesses."

PPS: "What is Placemaking?"

“’Placemaking’ is both an overarching idea and a hands-on tool for improving a neighborhood, city or region. It has the potential to be one of the most transformative ideas of this century.”
-Metropolitan Planning Council of Chicago

Link to
'Project for Public Spaces' web site

"Placemaking is a multi-faceted approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces. Put simply, it involves looking at, listening to, and asking questions of the people who live, work and play in a particular space, to discover their needs and aspirations. 

"This information is then used to create a common vision for that place. The vision can evolve quickly into an implementation strategy, beginning with small-scale, do-able improvements that can immediately bring benefits to public spaces and the people who use them.

"Placemaking capitalizes on a local community’s assets, inspiration, and potential, ultimately creating good public spaces that promote people’s health, happiness, and well being. When we asked visitors to pps.org what Placemaking means to them, responses suggested that this process is essential–even sacred–to people who truly care about the places in their lives.

"Experience has shown us that when developers and planners welcome as much grassroots involvement as possible, they spare themselves a lot of headaches. Common problems like traffic-dominated streets, little-used parks, and isolated, underperforming development projects can be avoided by embracing the Placemaking perspective that views a place in its entirety, rather than zeroing in on isolated fragments of the whole."
[Hammerson and Barnet do not seem to care about anything beyond the property profits to be made.]

"Loopholes cost HMRC £5bn a year, say MPs" (and a reminder about Hammerson)

Link to The Independent

"The accountants and lawyers behind sophisticated tax-avoidance schemes, such as that once used by the comedian Jimmy Carr, are 'running rings' around HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), MPs warned last night.

The schemes are costing the Treasury £5bn a year by exploiting loopholes in a complex system designed to help businesses, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said.

[Hammerson has arranged to administer its employee share scheme from an off-shore tax haven.

Hammerson has been developing Brent Cross in partnership with a company in a (different) off-shore tax haven.

A third off-shore tax haven company independently wishes to build a waste incinerator at Brent Cross, presumably using (or at least referring to) Hammerson's existing planning permission for a waste incinerator on the site.]


"Kidbrooke Village. A New Village for London"

Link to Berkeley Group web site

"Kidbrooke Village is bringing much needed, high quality new homes and apartments to London, but it offers far more than just homes. The sustainable community lifestyle offered at Kidbrooke Village means you can enjoy a different way of life, with everything you need close to your new home.

"Kidbrooke Village is one of Berkeley's biggest regeneration projects to date, costing an estimated £1 billion, making it one of the largest residential developments in London. When complete it will have 4,800 new homes and 300,000 square feet of commercial and retail space.

"It consists of four distinct yet integrated neighbourhoods: City Point, Blackheath Quarter, Kidbrooke Village Centre and Meridian Gate, which between them will offer an outstanding choice of contemporary new homes and apartments to suit every type of buyer.

"Kidbrooke Village is for everyone. There will be a new primary school and new premises for an existing school. Shops, bars, restaurants, a hotel and office space will gather around the central area, Kidbrooke Village Centre, a focal point for the community. With healthcare and sports facilities as part of the development, everyone can be fit and healthy.

"Open space is another key feature of Kidbrooke Village. More than half of its total area will be parkland, including the new Cator Park and the established Sutcliffe Park."

"Berkeley's Vision for 2020"

"We will create high quality, sustainable places where
people choose to live,  work and spend their time.
These will be places that directly encourage
the well-being of residents and offer them a space
and a base from which to lead safe and fulfilling lives.
Our ability to transform sites into thriving communities
will be considered the best in our industry.
Through our ability both to engage and to deliver,
Berkeley will be the developer of choice for
local authorities and existing communities."

"Why focus on delivering
sustainable communities?"

"Delivering well-designed, safe, sustainable places which will endure
as settled, vibrant communities long into the future is vital to
the social and economic sustainability of the UK.
We believe that a long-term vision and appreciation of the needs
of our customers and stakeholders before, during and after
the deliveryof our schemes is the way we can deliver this.

"Successful, sustainable places emerge from the management
of a complex series of relationships and processes.
[More than Hammerson has ever achieved.]
The ability to do this well gives Berkeley a real advantage.
Just as with delivering well-designed and sustainable homes,
delivering sustainable communities can create value,
increases saleability and enhances the reputation of our business."
(Click image for more)

"The Kidbrooke Kite is a hyperlocal blog and news site covering Kidbrooke, Eltham West, the Ferrier Estate and beyond. Do you have any stories, pictures, press releases or tip-offs about the area? Is there an event, or public meeting you think we should know about? If so, then please get in touch with the editor Adam Bienkov."

Link to web site posting on Kidbrooke Village

"Kidbrooke 'village' rises to 15 storeys"
"Berkeley Homes have been accused of repeating the mistakes of the Ferrier Estate, after they raised the height of towers in Kidbrooke's new 'village centre' to 15 storeys, six storeys higher than originally planned.

"... Despite these objections from locals, Berkeley Homes and Greenwich Council are pushing ahead with their plans, stating that 'It is considered that the height of the proposal is acceptable for this site'."
"So what do you think?"
"Are these high rises suitable in what is essentially a suburban location? Will they spoil or improve the local skyline? And will they contribute to the new 'villagey' atmosphere we've heard so much about?"
Comment on the web site: "At the time the London Plan (Ken's) stated that high rise should only be built around major transport hubs and along the Thames. A train station and a bus stop does not make a major transport hub. And the Quaggy hardly qualifies as a major river.

"Whilst landscaping will probably help break up the new blocks of apartments the whole thing is starting to look very samey. Certainly a lost opportunity to create an iconic development.

"Also the fight to get on a train at Kidbrooke in the next couple of years for the daily commute to London / Canary Wharf will interesting to see."

Until Sun 7 April: Bristol Architecture Centre: "After the Party: The Legacy of Celebration"

"With the year of the Diamond Jubilee and Olympic Games behind us, this exhibition explores the legacy of celebration.

"Drawing on the RIBA’s own collections, it presents events from the past alongside a preview of our own 2012 legacy projects, including the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, due to open in July 2013. The exhibition not only charts the creation of some of the world’s most extraordinary structures but also considers how such places are sustained once the 'party is over'. It includes interventions that have had a lasting urban impact, transforming entire cities, alongside others that provide more cautionary tales.

"The exhibition presents an unmissable opportunity to see some remarkable architectural models from the summer's Olympic Games: the London 2012 Olympic Stadium by Populous, London Aquatics Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects, London 2012 Velodrome by Hopkins Architects and The Copper Box (Handball Arena) by Make Architects will all be displayed in the Architecture Centre gallery.


"Farewell, my bicycle, I’ve got a motor-car, and the North Circular Road will be built in less than 30 years!"

"This poem seems to show that the late Victorian middle-class bicycle boom was well and truly over by 1897.

In fact, cycling continued to be a popular form of leisure and transport for some of the moneyed classes through to about 1910. For instance, the composer Edward Elgar didn’t take up cycling until 1900 and explored the Malvern lanes close to his home until 1909, before his wife made him hang up his Sunbeam in favour of a motor-car."

(Click on image above for 'Roads Were Not Built For Cars')

A new housing estate on the North Circular Road
by the Brent Reservoir, Dollis Hill, 1928.
(Produced from a damaged negative)

Until 10 March: "Sell your Soles at Brent Cross Schuh!"

"Between 9 February and 10 March 2013, Schuh is asking ‘kind soles’ to donate their unwanted shoes in the Brent Cross store, where customers will be rewarded with a £10 voucher for every pair they hand over. £10 Vouchers will be valid until 7 April 2013.

Terms and conditions apply.

Barnet Times: "Dollis Valley Estate regeneration in High Barnet could begin by autumn" (We've heard that phrase before)

Link to Barnet Times

"Plans to demolish a 1960s housing estate and build more than 600 ‘affordable’ homes have been submitted to Barnet Council.

"The Dollis Valley estate in High Barnet will be flattened as part of the regeneration, which was commissioned by the local authority, and building work could begin by the autumn."

Link to Barnet Press

Barnet Press:
"Residents’ dismay at Dollis Valley redevelopment plans"

"John Davies ... in Mays Lane said:
“In Mays Lane it is almost impossible to find a parking space the majority of the time,” he said. “I have got an elderly mother who is in a wheelchair. We take her for the odd week and if I have to park three or four streets away it is going to be a nightmare.

"It is an overdevelopment. We are happy for Dollis Valley to be regenerated. It’s just that they are incorporating a much wider area. By the time they are finished the roads are going to be a nightmare."


"Rob Allen can explain the offside rule, but at Brent Cross they think it's all over". (A headline of two halves, really)

Link to Evening Standard

"An abandoned railway goods yard that has stood empty for almost half a century has been turned into central London’s biggest five-a-side football complex by Power League.

"The two and a half acre site in Shoreditch has already attracted hundreds of bookings from local teams that could not previously find places to play close to their offices.

Rob Allan, assistant director of development at Hammerson said:
“We have a long history of working well with Powerleague on our development sites. The Goodsyard will ultimately become a vibrant new mixed-use London ‘village’ linking the City with Brick Lane, and will comprise retail, residential and office components, but it is great that before that, it will still create value for the local community by providing much needed sports facilities." [Phew! Sentence is a bit long, Rob.]

The day after the fire in 1964
(Link to 'Disused Stations')

Tweets on the line

Er, that's it.

"New homes for techies as Google moves to King's Cross"

Link to Evening Standard

"Google’s move to a million-square-foot bespoke office complex at King’s Cross Central will be the biggest UK property deal of the 21st century so far — and will cement London’s position as the technology capital of Europe.

"As London emerges from the banking crisis [sic], it is re-inventing itself. New digital hubs are rejuvenating neighbourhoods where old trades and technologies have perished. This is bringing a fresh vibe to the streets, together with designer homes for techies who want to live close to their workplace.

"... Transformation of 67 acres of blighted railway land at King’s Cross has proved a regeneration masterclass. [In comparison, Hammerson's 'regeneration masterclass' at Brent Cross is beyond rescue, even by London Communications Agency, its PR outfit.] 

"It is an entirely new district in the making, with 20 new streets and 'boulevards', public squares, restored heritage buildings, modern offices and retail space, plus 1,900 new homes, 40 per cent of which are 'affordable', available through One Housing Group." [It also doesn't have the ten-lane North Circular Road running through the middle.]

"OECD calls for crackdown on tax avoidance by multinationals" (Are you listening, Hammerson?)

" 'This is about the survival of democracy,'
said OECD secretary general Angel Gurría."
Link to The Guardian

"Governments need to modernise their tax systems to catch international companies that dodge paying corporation tax, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has warned.

"The ease with which companies shift profits around the world to offshore havens shows that tax authorities need to step up their anti-avoidance efforts or risk losing billions of pounds in much-needed revenues, said the Paris-based thinktank in a report on Tuesday.

"Angel Gurría [above], head of the OECD, said the G20 needed to act this year to combat avoidance, which he said was undermining the ability of governments to recover from the financial crisis."

[Known links between Hammerson and off-shore tax havens are joint retail property development at Brent Cross, the administration of its company share scheme, and joint (possibly independent) ambitions to build a waste incinerator at Brent Cross. Although no more direct tax avoidance by Hammerson is alleged, it is not illegal anyway.]


Evening Standard: "Capital’s workforce grows but fewer drive to their jobs" (Many will HAVE to drive to the new Brent Cross!)

Link to web site
"The number of people driving to work in London has fallen over the past decade, despite a big surge in population, official figures revealed today.

"Statistics from the 2011 census show that 62,000 fewer Londoners are commuting by car or van than 10 years earlier, even though the number of residents in the capital has leapt by 850,000 over the same period.

"Technological innovations [have] allowed more Londoners to work from home. [There has also been] a surge in use of the Tube and other 'light rail' routes, and an increase in cycling."

" 'We'll feel poorer for three more years': Grim warning issued on cost of living" (At this rate Hammerson, your Brent Cross approval will go out of time)

"We're full up here, but
try Fenwicks car park"

Link to Evening Standard
"The Governor of the Bank of England today issued a grim warning to families that the unprecedented squeeze on their living standards will last for at least three more years.

"Sir Mervyn King said there was little sign of respite before 2016 as inflation stays 'stubbornly' high — fuelled by rising food, transport and utility bills — while wages stagnate.

"His warning came as new official figures showed that the impact of the financial crisis has already sent living standards back to those last seen in 2003. It is the first time on record that real wages have dropped so far."

Daily Telegraph:
"Pay rises
'outstripped by inflation'"

"The Office for National Statistics [said that] male workers in private firms
have suffered the biggest decline in earnings since the recession in 2008.
Their average earnings last year were worth less in real terms than in 2002,
the research showed."

The Guardian:
"Boris Johnson promotes London's tech sector - video"

Link to video (auto-runs)


PPS: "Announcing The Future of Places Conference Series"

Link to web site

"... The conference begins with the premise that the world is at a crossroads. 

"We have a choice: cities can continue to grow haphazardly, without regard to human social needs and environmental consequences, or we can embrace a sustainable and equitable process that builds community, enhances quality of life, and creates safe and prosperous neighborhoods.

"We are convinced that in the future, the cities that utilize the social capital-building potential of their public spaces to the fullest will be the ones with the most dynamic local economies.

"The Future of Places will survey the field, and map out a path to a more people-centered urban development model for the globalized future." 
[Rather knocks the unsustainable quick-profit plan of Hammerson and Standard Life Investments - aided by Barnet council - into a cocked hat, doesn't it?]

"Making a 'Great Place'
in New Jersey"

"While much of the effort has been on improving the design of streets,
sidewalks, and public spaces, the effort has been multi-dimensional.

Based on PPS’s recommendation, Mayor Elizabeth Baumgartner created
the Downtown Development Commission (DDC) in 1981, which took
the opportunity to involve all stakeholders, from landlords and merchants
to residents and the arts and non-profit communities – tapping into
the inherent passion of the 16,000 people who call the place home.

Playfully underlining the later feat, Davies adds,
“No one agreed with anybody
in 1981. Merchants thought that
the problem was with parking."

Evening Standard: "Housing costs in London 'driving us out'"

Link to web site
(Ipsos MORI image)

"Half of Londoners fear they may be driven from their neighbourhoods by the sky-high cost of housing, an exclusive poll for the Standard reveals today.

"The Ipsos MORI research found that nine in 10 feel it is harder for them to buy or rent than it was for their parents. Almost as many predict grimly that it will be even harder for their own children to get a home of their own.

"The findings of the nationwide survey are an indictment of the housing crisis gripping the capital and the nation. Ipsos MORI uncovered anxiety in every corner of the country about housing, among young and old, rich and poor, renters and buyers."