The Crisis of London
Taylor & Francis, Oct 4, 2003 - Architecture - 232 pages
London is in a mess. This is evident from the increasingly unpleasant experience of daily life in the capital, from homelessness and unemployment to frustrating transport facilities and the general bad quality of the environment. However it is not only citizens of London who are suffering but the business community as well. London is having to face increasing competition from other European cities. There is growing appreciation and debate about these problems from companies, political parties, local government and community organisations. The Crisis of London provides a solid analysis of what has gone wrong and explores policy directions that could make the city a more humane and livable place. Beginning with a discussion of the basic elements of a home, a job and a means of travelling around, it becomes clear that even in these essential aspects London is failing. A feature of the crisis is an increasingly divided city with conditions for the poorer citizens worsening all the time. The authors consider the quality of the environment. They examine the greening of the city and the need for sustainability, the privatisation and dehumanisation of public spaces; the fear experienced by women, denying them full access to the capital; the position of ethnic minorities, and the perspectives of local communities. Using the case studies of Docklands and Kings Cross, the author's raise the crucial question of the government of the capital. This review of the city concludes with an analysis of a potential vision for London involving both the creation of the necessary institutional structures and also the will to address the needs of all the capital's citizens. The authors argue that a strategic approach is needed which accepts that the market alone cannot solve the problem. Stronger public intervention and government action is necessary if London is to match the developments in other European cities.
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