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>>Thank you very much for coming along this evening to this event on The Long Legacy:
London 2062. UCL calls itself, or names itself, "London's global university". That might have
originally been a name coined to irritate the other University of London, however, I
think time has shown that [it] has a degree of resonance. And as a global university,
we have asked ourselves the question, what is the role of a leading university in the
world, and we feel that it's important that not only do we carry out world class research,
but that we actually integrate and cross tension the expertise we have in different disciplines
to try to find solutions to globally significant problems. So, as Vice-Provost for research,
my responsibility is to try to encourage colleagues to cross the traditional divide of different
disciplines to come up with solutions or possible solutions to major problems. And as a result,
what we've done at UCL is to create and define four grand challenges which focus on major
societal issues which the world faces. The first of these grand challenges is global
health: why is it that citizens of sub-saharan African countries are actually dying from
diseases that can be readily treated here at UCH or elsewhere? The second of our grand
challenges is sustainable cities, and that's born some of the activity that we'll talk
about tonight. Our third grand challenge is intercultural interaction, and our fourth
grand challenge is human wellbeing. Now these grand challenges are being evolved over the
last couple of years and continue to do so but tonight we are focusing on the cities
problem, and in the sustainable cities equation and studies that we've been carrying out at
UCL focused on a variety of things, for instance, recently in May we published a commission
with the Lancet on 'healthy cities' -- what is it that one has to do to ensure that cities
around the world are healthy places and engender healthy lives for their citizens? But tonight
we focus on the analysis of colleagues at UCL and outside UCL that have been working
in the last year or so on aspects related to London and the future of London. And we
titled that project 'London 2062', a fifty-year view forward as to what are the challenges,
what are the issues that this wonderful metropolitan city face, and how is it that we could start
thinking now in a way that will avoid and alleviate some of the challenges and the negatives
which could occur, and obviously, what is it that we need to do to conserve the positive
features of London. And I think in the summer, we've all seen some of the fabulous things
that bring London to life and what makes London a special place, and I think it's really exciting
to talk about tonight how it is we can capture, grow that and actually have this long legacy
fifty years after the Olympics. So I'm delighted this evening that we have a number of colleagues
who have been involved with the thinking and the development of this analysis, and we'll
be hearing from three of them this evening. Later on in the year, or maybe at the beginning
of 2013, we will be publishing a book which captures the ideas of a number of other colleagues
and which will be launching a little bit later on there. But I'd like to start this evening,
therefore, by asking my three colleagues to come and give some of their thoughts about
some of the issues, and after they've spoken, we'll be able to have a dialogue and discussion
with questions from the audience. So to start this evening, I'd like to introduce to you
Ben Harrison, who is the Director of Future of London, and has been involved in the discussions
throughout the last year or so, and is going to give us a synoptic overview of some of
the thinking which is being developed. So, Ben, can I pass it over to you? >>[Applause]
>>[Harrison] Can I just start by asking if you can all hear me all right? Is the mic
okay? It sounds like it is. Excellent. Thank you very much David and good evening ladies
and gentlemen. Before I start with what I have prepared to say tonight, I just also
want to thank Sarah Bell, Mark Tudor Jones, James Paskins and Ian Scott from UCL for offering
the invitation to Future of London to come and get involved in this programme of work.
It's been a fantastically interesting one and we specifically were involved in running
a series of seminars at the start of this year looking at a number of different related
disciplines and policy areas and I'm going to say a bit more about that in a moment.
Before I do that, though, I just want to take the opportunity to give a bit of an introduction
to Future of London. We're a relatively young organisation and I'm conscious that our involvement
in this year may very well be the first time that you come across us as an organisation.
So, I'll do a brief run through of that, and then following that, I will give a brief overview,
as David mentioned, of some of the areas where we were able to find that consensus from our
events and the contributions that were made within them and then some key points of difference
going forward about London's future over the next 50 years. So, to begin, what is Future
of London? Well, as our strapline says, we're an independent, not for profit, policy network
focused on the big challenges facing regeneration, housing and development practitioners in London.
What does that mean specifically? Well, we are a membership organisation bringing together
London boroughs, registered providers and housing associations, the GLA, TFL and overall
we have three main programs of activity. The first is focused on developing the next generation
of regeneration leaders in London. We run a training and development program called
The Future London Leaders and that identifies individuals whom across our membership who
tend to be between five an seven years in their career and provides a range of development
and networking opportunities for them. We're into the fourth round of that program. It's
been hugely successful and is a very popular part of our program, and we're about to launch
the next round next month. We also offer our members various forums to share best practice
and innovative thinking across the London Practitioner Network. We're very conscious
that despite being a global city, actually a lot of what goes on in London can be surprisingly
parochial and building relationships across borough boundaries and between organisations
is something which we believe is absolutely vital if we're going to learn the lessons
from the various programs of regeneration underway across the capital. And finally,
we also produce various outputs from a research and policy point of view but really with a
specific focus on pieces of work that will be of practical assistance and are really
focused on delivery. Hopefully you've seen a few copies of reports that we've launched
over the past 12 months this evening. They've tended to focus on the implementation of various
pieces of government legislation, most notably the green deal, and how that can work in London,
and we've just published a report recently on flows of overseas investment into the London
property market, what that's doing to house prices and what it means going forward for
housing policy. So, to deliver this work we engage in a range of partnerships, working
with a diverse groups of organisations from UCL to the Joseph Rowntree Organisation, major
house builders and big city law firms to deliver a vibrant program as I say with a number of
different component parts. Our membership for 2012 is here. We're just about finalised
that for 2013, and if you are interested in getting involved in our network, then please
do visit our website, it's futureoflondon.org.uk. And there's various different ways that you
can become individually involved or as an organisation. So, that's the mini sales pitch
over. Turning to think about London 2062 and the seminar series that we collaborated with
Sarah, Mark and colleagues on in the spring of this year. The seminar series itself consisted
of four sessions. We welcomed a total of over 100 participants, drawn both from the academic
community but also from our practitioner network. Each was designed to explore a specific topic,
energy housing, transport and the economy, looking ahead over a 50 year timeline, and
alongside these events you'll have no doubt seen that colleagues at UCL and ourselves
have published a range of think pieces, articles and essays and as David has mentioned there
is a more substantial output coming next year. In terms of the sessions themselves and what
we -- the themes that emerged from them were, clearly we set our contributors a very large
and probably unfair challenge, to conceive of what London is going to be like over a
50 year timeline. It's not a usual task that you present to people that you're inviting
to come and speak at an event. And I guess perhaps reflecting the pre-Olympic double
dip recession gloom that pervaded over London at that time, it's fair to say that we heard
some fairly terrifying projections of what London's going to like in 50 years time: overcrowded
and bursting at the seams, subject to the mal-effect of large temperature increases
and rising sea levels as a result of global climate change, more unequal than ever and
with an economy unable to compete with rising global megacities in the east. Of course,
others were simply holding out the hope that the hoverboards that we were promised by the
year 2000 would have materialised by then. By and large, it was a pessimistic set of
contributions that we received from a number of individuals. Having said that, though,
there were definite areas of consensus and disagreement both between and within the practitioner
and academic groups that we talked to and who presented to us. And I'd just now like
to highlight a few of these, perhaps to inform some of the discussion that we're going to
have later on in the evening. So, first of all, to look at where there was a degree of
consensus amongst our contributors. When taking into account a rather unscientific show of
hands in the seminar looking at specifically the economy, but also taken with the general
nature and tone of contributions throughout the series, it seemed pretty clear that most
people are of the view that London will continue to be an unequal place and actually will become
more unequal over the next 50 years as things stand. Many were concerned about a gap between
those at the bottom and the top of the income scales continuing to increase, particularly
a disparity between inner and outer London also becoming wider. Secondly, when considering
energy policy, all four of our sector specialists highlighted the Danish model of decentralised
energy as a key example that London should look to follow in the years ahead, and with
colleagues both within the GLI and in our borough members already pursuing schemes in
this regard, there was certainly some degree of optimism that progress in this area will
be possible and that this will be a very important component part of London meeting its carbon
reduction commitment by 2062. Third, the successful delivery of Crossrail is clearly vital to
the development of London. But we should also be actively considering what comes next in
terms of major investment in London's transport, and there was a sense that perhaps more thought
needs to be given to the period between 2020 and 2040 in terms of what that investment's
going to look like and how transport can meet the needs of a changing London economy over
that time. And fourth and finally, it was widely recognised that tough decisions are
going to be needed to improve London's energy efficiency and reduce its carbon output of
its built environment. Specific policy initiatives like the green deal are thought to be good
places to start but clearly there are significant financial and delivery hurdles that need to
be cleared if London is to meet, if these schemes are to be widely taken up and their
benefits felt across London, and given that the proportion of the built environment that
is still goign to be in use in London in 50 years time is so high, it really does need
to be a major priority for London in the years ahead. And then turning to some of the areas
where there was more disagreement or uncertainty around where London will be in the next 50
years: much discussion was had over whether we need a new economic model in light of the
recent financial crisis and whether the old way of assessing and looking at London's economy
was somehow no longer fit for purpose. On the other hand, many of our contributors that
actually to throw the baby out with the bathwater and not play to London's existing strengths
would be a huge mistake, and I think finding a resolution within those two points of view
was probably beyond the two hours that we had to debate it, but it's something which
is going to be developing over the coming years, and really, I think, a key point of
focus for Future of London going forward is thinking well, if we are serious about developing
a more poli-centric London economy with a diverse set of sectors stretching beyond financial
services by taking advantage of the opportunities of the digital economy, what does that really
look like, and what as practitioners do we need to do to achieve it? Secondly, a clear
area of uncertainty was around what if any new powers London should seek from central
government? Clearly we have in power at the moment a government that is serious about
devolving power to a local area since the events were held, we've obviously seen city
deals and a significant devolution of power to Leeds and Manchester and Newcastle and
the local deals it's true did bring additional powers to the mayorality in London and increased
the scope of mayoral involvement in housing development and other areas. But I think a
key question for the next two to three years will really be well, should London be looking
for a new settlement to deliver growth in the period ahead, and is it right that London,
for instance, takes control fully of the business rate, which has been long on the agenda or
other pot of money that could potentially be used to boost investment in the capital,
not without controversy, not without extremely complicated areas, but nevertheless, with
Boris Johnson probably never being more powerful than he is right now, you would imagine right
now that the scope for him to go back to David Cameron and demand a better settlement for
London will be one to look out for. Thirdly, and perhaps most controversially of all, the
future of aviation policy in London was a big feature of our transport session. Do we
expand our existing airport transport incrementally, build a new airport, essentially for Europe
in the Thames Estuary, or actually do nothing and take the view that London's priorities
should lie elsewhere and that the costs of increasing air travel in London to perhaps
some of our other aims in the capital would be too great and therefore not worth doing.
Clearly, it's a hot topic politically, so hot in fact that it's been well and truly
kicked into the lawn grass for this parliament with none of the major parties that keen to
engage with it, nevertheless, the issue's going to continue to dominate public debate
and it's not an issue that can be put off forever and whichever way it goes, it's going
to have major implications for the future direction of development in the capital, geographically,
environmentally and socially. And fourth and finally, and extremely importantly, how can
London deliver the number and types of new homes it requires to meet the needs of a population
that's projected to grow significantly over the decades ahead, while also ensuring that
access to this housing is widened. There is consensus across the practitioner network
in London that some of the old models for delivering housing and in particular, affordable
housing, are now dead in the water, we are very unlikely to see a return to the levels
of public subsidy for affordable housing in London that we've seen prior to 2010 and therefore
a new model of investment is required. Quite what that's going to look like is not clear
right now, but we have probably a two year window before 2015 to really think about what
that should look like for London and be proactive about it, so I think that's going to be a
key priority in the years ahead, we'll have very long lasting impacts looking forward
to 2062. So, those are some themes and questions emerging form the 2062 event series, and I
hope it can inform and spark some discussion later on this evening. They're by no means
comprehensive, but each will have a bearing on the kind of city we inhabit over the coming
decades. Future of London will certainly be interrogating these issues in more detail
over the coming months, and in doing so, we look forward to continuing our partnership
with UCL and as I mentioned earlier in the evening, if you do want to know more about
Future of London or become actively engaged in some of our projects or programmes, please
do look at the website or catch myself later on this evening and I look forward to answering
your questions as and when we move to that part. I'll hand over to Ben now. >>So, there
we have a synoptic quick whistle stop tour through some of the topics that have been
discussed. Next, we're going to hear from Ben Campkin who is Senior Lecturer in the
Bartlett School here at UCL and Director of the UCL Urban Laboratory, so some aspects
of the urban regeneration challenges, focusing now on a little specific window following
up that more general oversight. So, Ben, over to you.
>>[Campkin] That was already set up, I just wanted to slow us down. Thank you very much
and thank you for inviting me to speak this evening and to be part of the London 2062
project. I think it's been a really excellent initiative so thanks to the colleagues for
organising it, both in UCL and in Future of London. We've had some really stimulating
conversations, and I think it's really important to have these conversations between academic
researchers and practitioners and policy-makers around these really important questions. I've
been involved with two London 2062 events. I did two different talks. And I seem to have
spent both of them trying to avoid talking about the long distance future in different
ways, trying to avoid this idea of future-gazing, but what I wanted to do today was really think
through some of the ideas that came out of the London 2062 housing workshop that I participated
in in relation -- and not all of those ideas were specifically about housing, some of them
were about wider regeneration issues, and to think about those in relation to the Olympic
legacy. I should say also that this comes partly out of my own research interest in
regeneration and the history of regeneration. Also the sorts of discussions that we've been
having at the Urban Laboratory at UCL, which is an interdisciplinary centre for thinking
about cities and urbanisation that goes across UCL, so there are ideas in here that come
from discussions with colleagues recently as well. In terms of regeneration, I wanted
just to start by saying 50 years is not a long time. If we look back at London 50 years
ago, there's a notable correlation between the areas we see here, identified in the most
recent London Plan's opportunity areas and the areas that were identified in the 1943
County of London plan as opportunity areas. So this tells us something. These areas that
are now designated for future growth are likely to still be growing and opportunity areas
in 50 years time. And the built environment typically changes at a very slow rate. An
estimated 75% of London's building stock will be the same in 2062. This was one of the figures
that stuck in my mind from the discussions in the workshops that we had. But as well
as built form, the underlying characteristics of different forms of urbanisation obviously
have long term consequences, and where those are flawed, they could work precisely against
the values of equality, diversity, social inclusivity that we talk about when we talk
about the current aims of regeneration in London. So, the kinds of structures of urbanisation
can cause intractable problems as well as improvements for the future. And other points,
I think, that came out of the workshops to me was that our evaluations of the success
or failure of different regeneration projects and the places that are their focus tend to
be obfuscated by powerful rhetoric by political ideology, and as the political landscape changes,
one generation's utopian schemes become the ruinous backdrop for the next one's vision
of a better future. The large scale physical transformation of the Olympic Park is obviously
a very specific kind of urbanisation that's taken place very quickly under special circumstances,
through massive public funding by the UK's largest ever compulsory public purchase order
and the ability, to use the ODA's phrase, to lock down the site temporarily to get this
done. And the area's immediate future will be governed by a very particular and exceptional
kind of body, the Mayoral Development Corporation, which is given special powers. So I think
how that body represents the community's interests is obviously a key issue looking forward to
the next 50 years. The games have obviously provided an extraordinary global spectacle.
The Olympic Park exists as an image itself but it's also a place of image-making, and
this image of this transformation, this transformed park has been circulated around the world.
But within this, any sense of perhaps the specifics of Stratford and what Stratford
needs, what the local area needs has perhaps been temporarily lost. So we need to now go
back to that discussion about regeneration in a very specific part of London with a very
specific history and specific community, and obviously the narrative through which the
regeneration has taken place has been about a place of poverty, a place of industrial
contamination that has literally been regenerated, that it's been cleansed somehow, reconfigured
as a place of cultural capital, as a place of consumerism, and the Olympics is a kind
of stepping stone on this yellow brick road towards tech city, in the long term regeneration
plan. We could debate the direct and abstract value of the Games themselves endlessly, but
I don't think that's really the purpose of tonight. What I would like to do is for us
to focus constructively on a discussion about what are the values that should underpin regeneration
going forward for the next 50 years. The justification has been that the Olympics will accelerate
the regeneration of this part of London for the benefit of the local community, so that's
what we should try to keep the focus on over the next 50 years. And politicians have already
been -- and the media, as I've been watching on the news -- have already been claiming
the regeneration of east London, but that seems kind of incongruous when you actually
go and walk around Stratford and you walk down Stratford High Street and there's still
this -- there's a disconnect, and I know there is a plan to regenerate Stratford High St,
but the fact that it's happened in the reversed order of the Park first, does leave this disconnect,
and one can't help feeling a sense of isolated Olympic Park, a kind of Vegas-like experience
as you walk around it. This island within the urban fabric, which isn't yet integrated
into its context, and that's obviously the challenge for the next 50 years -- the worrying
image that comes to mind is of Canary Wharf and the boundaries of Canary Wharf, that when
you walk from Canary Wharf to Poplar there's this sudden transition and it's still not
integrated. So that's a kind of warning that we have to have in mind when we think about
integrating this new site within the fabric of the city. So just to go back to that idea
of the transformation, the literal regeneration, the cleaning up of the soil, which has obviously
been a key part of the discourse about the transformation of the area. This is an image
taken by Mike Wells on the website gamesmonitor of some of the earth waiting to be cleaned
in these big washing machines. For me, this was one of the most striking images of the
redevelopment process. The soil waiting to be cleansed. You know, this is historically,
regeneration in London has always been propelled by these narratives of dirt and disorder and
the need for it to be cleansed. And in this case, it's about the bioremediation of the
soil, so there's a kind of pseudo-scientific justification for regeneration going on there,
which I think is interesting. And it also fits into a longer tradition of the east end
being described as the kind of dirty other to the west end of London. But what's striking
is that although public health narratives and narratives of cleansing have always driven
regeneration, in this case, unlike the social values and public health initiatives that
underpinned urban change in the mid-20th century, with the expansion of the welfare estate,
somehow this public health narrative is not quite connected, it's part of the discourse,
but actually the idea of making the area economically productive again seems to be the key driver,
so that's something that I want to come back to later on. I want now just to think about
this concept of regeneration. You don't get much more literal images of regeneration than
this. This word has been critiqued a lot recently by urban researchers. For example, Michael
Edwards, who's at UCL in the planning school, who may be in the audience somewhere, I cant
see, writes of it as a "slippery word" that's "used to legitimise almost every construction
project". Another academic working in architecture writes that "Property development is not the
same thing as regeneration." -- I think these are key things to bear in mind Another academic,
Robert Furbey, talks about the longer history of this metaphor as a very "ancient term"
that has these kind of religious and spiritual and biological connotations. In the modern
period, it also has this conservative idea of personal transformation and empowerment
as well, so I think it's important to bear these different ideas of regeneration in mind
when we think about it and to try to be quite precise about what we mean by it. And in London,
the concept has been in use in relation to urban development since the mid-20s, sorry
the mid-20th century, but since the 80s it's become very prevalent. It's in the County
of London plan. It's likely to still be around in 2062, but in the intervening period between
the '40s and now, the meaning has changed quite radically. So, in the County of London
plan, there's a sense that the city might regenerate itself. There's a sense that where
the city doesn't regenerate itself, that's where it needs major restructuring and renewal,
which is quite similar to an American academic Jane Jacob's idea of regeneration, which is
more about incremental change from the bottom up. In the 40s also in London, it's about
focusing on the improvement of living conditions for those living in poverty. Since then, regeneration
has continued to accrue different meanings as a multi-layered metaphor, and although,
if the rhetoric of regeneration is now balanced between economic and social values, in practice
it seems to focus overridingly on economic growth, and regeneration will be successful,
I read in a major newspaper finance section yesterday, in the Olympic case, if in the
longer term we see increasing overseas wealth flowing into the area and rich west Londoners
moving east. Okay, this is like a fairly straightforward idea of regeneration as gentrification by
bringing in outsiders. But regeneration in the Olympic context also proceeds through
this idea of trickle down wealth through providing benefits for local communities, but this is
something that we need to think about more carefully over the next 50 years. The GLA
have recently said, in relation to creative cities regeneration, that actually there isn't
any evidence of trickle down effects to local communities, the communities that are in regeneration
at the start of regeneration processes. So this is something we definitely need to invest
research into, and many urban studies scholars have in fact suggested that current regeneration
strategies actively disadvantage and displace rather than improve the lives of those in
whose name they proceed, so according to them, London in 2062 won't be a city necessarily
of greater equality of wealth, but will be one of polarisation. We saw this in Ben's
talk just now. A greater polarisation of wealth but also of health and wellbeing. Okay, so,
from the workshop, this rather bleak list of issues came up that I just wanted to quickly
run through, that we might expect to see. So, increased displacement of local communities
and the destruction of the very kind of mixed communities that we talk about when we talk
about the aims of regeneration. The destruction of the idea of London as a tolerant city.
The reinforcement of this general trend of excluding low income households from living
in central London, increasing inequalities to access to housing, this debate about affordable
housing is really key. Continued decline and fragmentation of the affordable housing stock.
This incredibly complex market already of social housing providers being very much pressured
by the government to act in particular ways, perhaps we need to go back to an earlier idea
of socially registered landlords or explore new models. Also the polarisation of the city
through intensive pockets of investment and disinvestment, and the loss of public space
to privately managed estates with detrimental consequences on citizenship and the sense
of community and belonging in the city. So these are all points that came up and obviously
these are all big issues. I'm not going to wrap them up neatly now, but I want to outline
five, if you like, grand challenges for regeneration practice moving forward. And there are colleagues
who would argue now that actually regeneration is a redundant concept, we need to resist
regeneration because regeneration equates to gentrification. But I would like to think
that perhaps we can develop new models of ethical regeneration, and this is what I've
been discussing with colleagues recently. So, just to run through those: I think we
need to move to a more incremental -- these might sound naive and oversimplifying issues,
but I think we need to actually go back to basic what are the ethics of good regeneration?
So, incremental and contextual urbanisation. It seems quite shocking that despite rhetoric
otherwise, we are still pursuing urbanisation of the city through tabula rasa, through clean
sweep urbanism, and since the mid 1970s, state-led regeneration has given away to a more market
led laissez fare approach, but we're still pursuing this large scale clean slate urbanism,
and in spite of the value attached to heritage and diversity, our large scale redevelopment
projects in working class areas are particularly characterised by this approach, and break
up communities, and this goes against one of the key ideas that came up for me in the
London 2062 project, was that to face these difficult challenges in the future we need
strong and resilient communities -- so why are we breaking up these communities now.
Secondly, we need to think and work on mechanisms for preserving affordability in regeneration
zones, so as we improve the physical character of the city and change its socioeconomic composition,
we need to develop ways of preserving affordability for a wide group of people and prioritising,
bringing back social value from increased land values and for a greater number of people.
And this obviously requires radical shifts in our thinking and imagination. There are
not easy ways of answering this problem, but if we really believe in diversity, then gentrification,
which was a term coined at this university by Ruth Glass in the Geography department
in 1964, is not the way forward. So, thirdly, we need to try and develop ways of tackling
ways of the housing crisis that are evidence based, so working on the housing crisis in
a way which is not subject to the ebbs and flows of politics and changing in political
policy, that actually, over the next 50 years, in the Olympic boroughs, housing is a key
issue. Over 100,000 people in the three boroughs waiting list. Overcrowding, poor quality and
design, unregulated private rental market, poor connectivity, poor communal areas, and
a massive shortfall in affordable housing and family housing, and a lack of onus which
is only getting worse of developers to actually provide affordable housing. So how can we
move away from a politicised, polarised debate about affordable housing towards a more evidence-based
approach focused on need. And then fourthly, how do we -- this is a question that came
up recently at UCL, with the publication of the Healthy Cities pamphlet that David referred
to earlier, which I recommend you read -- but how can we reconnect the regeneration in more
meaningful ways to the public health agenda, getting back to an idea of regeneration as
primarily about and driven by public health needs. I think this is really key. And then,
fifthly, how can we move towards a more community-led and open and honest discourse that accompanies
regeneration. I think a lot of those -- a lot of communities affected by regeneration
have become very sceptical about what it means and about the consultation processes that
they've been subjected to, which they felt to be tokenistic, and a lot of the actual
imaging practices and representational practices that we use within regeneration make people
suspicious because they are used to deceive and coerce rather than aid the process of
connecting communities to the research agenda in meaningful ways, so I think this another
key area that we should be thinking about. I realise that they're very big issues and
questions, and we were asked to be provocative so I'm not going to apologise for that, but
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on these things, and I probably should leave
it there, so thank you. >>[Applause] >>[Vice-Provost] Ben, thank you very much for those thoughts
and stimulating questions. Now I'll turn to the final speaker in this part of the evening,
Janice Morphet, who has been or is a Visiting Professor here again at the Bartlett, but
also has been or is still on the planning committee for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
So, I'm not quite sure what she's been up to lately, but I'm sure you've been quite
busy, and perhaps we should congratulate you, you can take all the credit for the Olympics
while you're here, but we'll hear your thoughts about some aspects of the future for London.
>>[Morphet] Thank you very much. Good evening, everybody. I'm in a slightly difficult position
because I'm still associated with the Olympics, so I can't say much about that because I'm
still involved until the end of the month. But I thought coming at the end, it's a rather
privileged position, because we've had these discussions, we've had the sessions to think
about that, and we've had the summation this evening, so what I'm going to try to do is
perhaps something slightly different. I'm going to take us, I hope you'll come with
me, anyway, to 2062, when I'm going to see where we are and take a look back to see what's
happened, what has come about -- have any of these things actually occurred. So, here
we are in 2062. And thinking about this 100 years ago, in 1962, the swinging '60s in London
were just about to begin. London was the centre of world news, front covers of international
magazines and the world's media were very curious about what was going on in London
at the time. London was loosening its belt, and it opened up a huge period of creativity
and change that started the separation of London from the rest of the country. Was this
where the seeds of change for the creation of the London city state were sewn? London
was, and wanted to be different. The real turning point came in 1999. Devolution in
Scotland and Wales and the powers given to the Mayor of London started an irrevocable
process of separation. When Scotland voted for independence in 2014, the transition to
the federal state of Great Britain began in earnest. Then, as now, it was the role of
England that seemed to be the big issue. And it is hard to look back now from 2062 without
remembering those intense debates about the establishment and location of the English
parliament. The main concern was about where it would sit, and when Manchester was chosen,
it seemed to galvanise London's position as an international outward global city and as
a separate part of the UK. Even 50 years ago, in 2012, the Mayor of London had more powers
than any other elected politician in the UK apart form the Prime Minister. So, looking
back, what led to the creation of the London city state after the referendum in Scotland?
And what difference has it made? Well, firstly, the UK referendum to leave the European Union
put London at odds with London, and it found that it had more in common with Scotland,
Wales and Northern Ireland. The federal structure of Great Britain, as it was devolved, immediately
demonstrated that the leadership vision agenda for England was different from the drive and
determination of London and its people. London was already separate in its governance, so
why not take the next step? Manchester was always interested in running the rest of the
country. >>[Laughter] Apologies to any Mancunians. When the Blair government set up Manchester
as the second England growth poll after 1997, not many people noticed that way in which
it was consistently privileged through government decisions made by both Labour and Coalition
governments: devolved spending, new local authority arrangements, and eventually, transferring
taxation and civil servants to the Greater Manchester Authority showed the government's
intent. And if you think those last two things are rather strange, they're already happening,
so that's not prediction, that's fact. So when it was proposed in 2016 that the government
of England should move to Manchester, London wanted the UK government to stay in London.
The separation was needed to enforce some independence on England, but London feared
it might follow. In the end, the establishment of the English parliament in Manchester and
the associated move of some civil servants, created a much smaller governance machine
in London, and so, as many civil servants faced with a move to Manchester, opted out
through retirement and stayed in London, particularly as pensions could no longer be guaranteed,
it also led to a reduction of the UK government as well. However, the effects of this change
in the seat of government for England could only be anticipated as being more important
at the time given the amount of debate they engendered. What has proved more critical
to London's position is the creation of the United States of Europe, the US of E in 2057,
100 years after the EU was formed in 1957. Any doubters on this, read Mr Mr Barroso's
speech yesterday. Since the UK/EU in-out referendum in 2018, the potential for different relationships
between the nations in the UK and the EU has emerged. The decision of the UK to opt out
and the subsequent decisions of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to opt back in to the
EU created a way for London to rejoin the EU, and supported its transition to the United
States of Europe. This has been a difficult path to take, not least for London's economy,
and through the transfer to the euro, but without this, London was faced with a major
threat to its international position. Yet despite these changes in government structure
and institutions, is London any different from the way it was 50 years ago for ordinary
Londoners? Firstly, there are more Londoners. London has continued to grow, not just in
the centre, but also in those high-priced housing areas of Barking, Romford and Dagenham.
That's accompanied the east London airport expansions (plural). Of course, it would be
difficult to accommodate so many people if there were still private cars, but the decision
to abolish the use of cars in zones 1 and 2 in London has meant more bikes and buses
which have now become the predominant mode of transport. It is rare to see a petrol filling
station or car park within these areas now (Zones 1 and 2), most having been redeveloped
for housing in the 2020s and 2030s. It has also opened the streets to more walking and
running, which most people do everyday. Much of London's housing looks the same, but the
major housing retrofitting program, which began after the nuclear energy crisis in the
2020s, has also had a major effect, and I suppose you know that we have a real difficulty
about replacing our nuclear energy just at the minute, and this might well happen. London
is no longer dependent on external energy supplies, and those long held objections to
local energy stations have been tempered by the domestic energy production modules that
most buildings now have. London now has more parks, green space and wildlife than many
rural areas. Our streets and roads have been planted with trees and shrubs in place of
the cars and the traffic signs. A dramatic reduction in food consumption in the 2020s,
when high sugar, fatty and processed foods were banned, has had the same effect on health
as earlier bans on tobacco and alcohol. And only today, New York has banned large sized
fizzy drinks, so, not so off the wall. London may be a larger and denser city, but it's
now more self sustaining than its ever been. So, what next for London? Well, 2062 held
a new swinging 60s era. Many of today's active people were born in the 1960s, so I'm assuming
people are going to live and be active until they're 100. So, being 100 years old is going
to be the new 60 or the new 70 and are the product of the swinging 60s generation. And
after all, Boris did say that the Olympic Games was going to create another generation,
didn't he? So what has London learned in this last century? Well, it's learned that change
is inevitable, but London's energy to lead its own future is not diminished. London is
now at the heart of the United States of Europe and a leading member of the federated state
of Great Britain. Only the problem of England remains, but that isn't a problem for London.
Thank you. >>[Laughter, applause]. >>[Vice Provost] Wonderful, thank you very much. So,
we've seen two very contrasting views, really, almost a dystopic, nihilistic approach to
the future of London with increasing inequality and misery that Ben was almost anticipating
as the status quo continued, we've seen perhaps a utopian renaissance for the city-state.
And all of these options are available to us. So I think, with that and the overview
that we had from Ben, I'd throw the questioning open to the floor for further interrogation
of tonight's wonderful speakers. But before we do that, perhaps we could have a round
of applause for all three of them, because I think they've said really exciting things.
>>[Applause] >>[VP] So we have microphones being wielded by colleagues, so if there are
any questions, who would like to start. We have one at the front here, if you could run
down. >>[Audience member] Hello, John Danzig. I take everything with a pinch of salt because
I don't think futurists have been very successful in the past on predicting the future. In fact,
they've been abysmally wrong. But I do remember an Evening Standard mock up of London in about
2060, it might have been 2100. And, it actually showed London absolutely covered in water.
We were all drowning. So I think all the plans are probably wrong. We need to be starting
a programme now of mass swimming lessons, and also we need to be building a lot of boats.
And all your plans are underwater. >>[VP] Okay, I think we can have some comments on
that. Projected sea level rises with climate change in the next 50-100 years: 10cm, or
something like that? >>[Campkin] The only comment I would make on that is that actually,
in one of the sessions, we did look at quite a lot of architectural representations of
the 50 year future. And a lot of them tended to be very dystopic, and to show the city
of London in ruins, and to show flooding and so on as a way of playing out the scenarios
of climate change and economic crisis as well. So it's, if you go into the architectural
school down the road in the Bartlett, that's what architects are speculating on at the
moment. >>[Morphet] Ah, we'll be drinking seawater in 50 years time. >>[VP] Desalinated,
I hope. >>[VP] No doubt climate change, very important factor. Sea level changes happening,
perhaps not right at the rate that may be shown in the Standard, although obviously,
exposure to surges and extreme events will become more problematic, and so the whole
issue of the next Thames barrier is an issue which has to be addressed, and also those
plans for housing to the east of the Thames barrier I think is also quite an interesting
area for consideration in the future as well. Thank you. A question over there, yes. >>[Audience
member] Thank you. Patrick Hughes, Director of Salient Work. I was hugely interested by
what you had to say. But there was one disappointment: the word London, of course, featured frequently
in what you had to say, but only one of you used the word Londoners, and that was once.
That was you, Janice. And I think, if I may say so, that there's a sense from what you've
said this evening, and I can't speak for the rest of your research, that you've fallen
into the trap of thinking more about the hardware than the software of the city. I think we
need to think more about Londoners and think of them as a unique resource and opportunity,
particularly in all their glorious diversity, which really, you haven't touched on at all,
and their useful energy, in other words, their fascinating cultural and population demographic.
Would you like to comment on that? >>[Morphet] I was trying to get at that by saying that
London was going to take charge of itself, and the decisions taken to ban cars and to
turn the city over to itself, and rethink about how it was using that city, was one
of the sort of themes that I was trying to explore, and I agree with you -- that the
diversity of London is its strength, but I wonder almost if we've moved beyond remarking
on it because it is so fundamental, it is what London is -- so there's no, how do we
find a new language about just accepting that and seeing that as an enormous strength, which
it is. And I think that strength is the thing that's going to drive London, and that's really
what I was trying to elaborate on. >>[Harrison] I would agree with you as well. I guess partially
picking up on some things Ben was saying about having a common definition or a new definition
of what we mean by urban regeneration. By the very nature of the work that we do at
Future of London, our major focus is on the built environment. Whether it's necessarily
fair to burden the word urban regeneration with also having to deal with other areas
of economic development or whether actually we're looking at a related and very important
set of issues and actually, given the state of public finances, probably something we're
going to need to focus on more in London and certainly the government is clearly focused
on it. But there's also no getting away from the fact that they are very difficult, often
not altogether tangible challenges as well, that often involve specific families with
long term worklessness issues, etc., which from the state's point of view are very difficult
to try to intervene, perhaps far more difficult to imagine intervening in than managing to
build some new infrastructure or some new houses. So I absolutely take the point and
it's surely something which we're going to hear more about in public policy debates going
forward. >>[VP] Ben, you mentioned the loss of the mixed community, that was one of the
threats you highlighted. >>[Campkin] I think I was talking a lot about Londoners but just
not using that word -- I was talking about the community and how diversity requires certain
parts of the city to be affordable and the dominant regeneration practices at the moment
do not work towards affordability being maintained over the long term, so I think that was a
key point that I wanted to raise, and also that regeneration should in fact be community
led, not just involving communities or consulting communities but actually the research has
shown that its successful if it's community-led rather than being imposed. >>[VP] We have
a question here. >>[Audience member] Ben stressed the problem of social divide: poor people
against rich people. But first of all, we have to understand, what are these poor people
going to be doing in London in 50 years time given the labour saving device, technology
and science, what's going to be their role? Will they be here in London, before you say
there's going to be a social divide -- will they be here in London, in a big city. Can
you share with us what you think they're going to be doing, poor people, in 50 years' time?
>>[Campkin] Sure, if you look at Henry Mayhew's mid-19th century London Life and the London
Poor, a lot of those jobs are still around in London, a lot of current service jobs would
be recognisable from that, so I'm sorry, but I don't believe that the jobs and the labour
is going to change that much. The city needs to be serviced. I think Dominique Laporte,
the French philosopher said "the city is a jewel fed by lonely operations", and it still
will be in 50 years' times. >>[Audience member] So, you envisage then, same employment situations...?
>>[Campkin] Not exactly the same, but I think there'll be -- 50 years is not that far ahead.
>>[Audience member] Basically the same, though? I mean you've got to have hotels, you've got
to have shops, you've got to have transport, people running the transport. I've been around
for 60 years as a worker and 20 years as a developing individual. I've worked for four
local authorities and I've been in planning, not your side of it, but legal planning. All
these things take time. Point 1 I would make is, add another 50 years because any redevelopment
in this huge city will be patchy. Your recent example of the Olympic games area is probably
a way ahead for clearing an area, but we haven't got too many areas like that to be cleared,
otherwise we've got to knock down stuff before you put stuff up, and that will take a lot
of time because a lot of opposition. Unless you say, we're going to take over -- I used
to live in Islington -- we're going to take over Islington and redevelop it, the state
is going to do it, because that's the only way you'll get something done in its entirety.
The rest of it will be biting into certain areas, developing those areas, another 5 or
10 years later you'll do another one. You've got to add another 50 years to your plan,
but I do think that once you've decided on an area such as the one, well the Olympic
Games, the area progress was a little bit dodgy at one stage, and then somebody pressed
the lever, and it was moved up. Now you've got to face it, these things can go wrong.
Look at what's happening in the west end, not in the west end, Tottenham Court Road
area. It was chaos for ages! Who suffers? Londoners. I'm a Londoner. So, you can't envisage
big developments without very careful planning. You've got 33 London boroughs, you've got
to knock their heads together, of the 33 town class, boroughs. You've got a heck of a problem
in getting a plan that really is meaningful. The plans that were created post-war have
taken ages to implement, all of the time because the war was still creaking at the edges. It
will take another 50 years and it's going to take big thinking redeveloped. Now if you
can knock that down, I'm interested. >>[VP] I don't think we're suggesting that we'll
have London redeveloped by 2062. Ben, you're engaged with a lot of authorities, perhaps
you'd like to comment on the challenges of the fragmentation in dealing with the boroughs
and so forth in developing cohering plans. >>[Harrison] Sure, I mean, I guess that's
a longstanding problem for London. It's not the case that boroughs don't work together
and don't work together with other agencies. But I would add to your point is that we are
entering into a period, or we're now in a period where the levels of public investment
that we've seen in these sorts of public investments just isn't going to be available. So never
mind anything on the scale of the Olympics -- even smaller regeneration schemes that
have received significant public subsidy, that's off the agenda for the foreseeable
future, so we need to find new models. As well as presenting a challenge, that is an
opportunity to find new models of conceiving of regeneration and of delivering it, but
I think we're probably quite a way off. There are specific instances within London where
public bodies have significant landholdings that are significant, that are suitable for
regeneration and can be used, but that's not necessarily the case across the piece, and
they're not necessarily in the part of London that you would seek to redevelop. So, I agree
with you, it's a very big challenge and it's not going to get easier any time soon, but
we do need to meet it. >>[VP] Janice? >>[Morphet] I think I, I want to say that I do agree with
one of the points that you made, and that was around public authorities building again.
We already have at least four London boroughs who set up housing companies, and the only
time in our history where we had huge numbers of houses or dwellings being built was actually
at the time when local authorities were building them. Even before RSLs or housing associations.
Now, I'm not sure that I agree with the point about there being no money, because if we
look at the powers in the 2012 Localism act, then local authorities and indeed all the
different accounting standards are changing, the ability for local authorities now to capitalise
development, set up development companies, capitalise on their own assets, now if you
can't do that in London, you can't do it anywhere. Lots of places across the country are doing
it, Liverpool in the northeast, so actually, London boroughs are sitting on huge assets,
which they don't need to sell, they need to capitalise, and if you look at the banks,
look at the city, they're sitting on piles of cash, pensions of cash, looking for safe
investment, pension investment. So I think until London boroughs really start building
again, not council houses, but housing for a mixture of tenures, I think that's going
to be the way of moving forward. And that's why I was suggesting looking at carparks,
looking at these kinds of sites now that we don't need so much. And there are still places
in London -- anyone been on a train through Willesden recently? I mean there's masses
of land in London that we just don't see. So that would be mine. >>[Audience member]
And I just wanted to build on some of the comments that came from the gentlemen in the
audience earlier around the lack of a focus around the demographic of London and Londoners
in some of your assessments of what London will look like. And one of the things that
I was surprised not to hear any of you mention, given the implications it has for the built
environment, for issues around affordability in the capital, and also for local authority
finance, is around the changing demographic towards older people within the city, and
when you're talking about getting regeneration back to something that isn't about moving
people who are viewed to be problematic out of a particular space, how do you imagine
that a London of 2062 is addressing that challenge and how that might impact on what the built
environment begins to look like. >>[VP] Well, I think Janice, you'd solved the problem by
making 100 the new 60. But perhaps you'd like to comment on that first. >>[Morphet] Well
I think, a) we probably are going to have to get off the idea of buying houses for a
bit, although I think we'll end up doing that until there's another -- until the treasury
can come up with new pension product, we're all stuck with buying houses if we can, as
our longer term nest egg for the future. Thinking about old people, thinking about affordability,
the only way to challenge the market is to create more units or more dwellings, and the
only organisations I can see who can really break the landhoarding tendencies of housing
developers with consents in land is actually the public sector who can put more -- as soon
as the public sector builds more, it reduces the value of the land that is generally hoarded
by developers, and I think that's what we've got to see. And I agree, we need other interventions,
we need to think differently. The current approach is clearly not sustainable in the
long term. >>[Audience member] [unintelligible beginning] In terms of the amount that we
need to build in order to bring down those values, we're talking about millions of homes
while we're building maybe 20,000 a year. >>[Morphet] No, I agree, we're not doing enough
now, I'm just saying, we've got to attack it in quite a different way, and if you go
back to think about how a million and over, however many homes we've been building, most
of those homes are being built by the public sector, not just in London but across England,
and to some extent, we've got to get back to that in different ways, and I can't wave
a wand and make it happen, but that's the only way you're going to increase the volume
and looking at other uses for buildings. >>[VP, interrupting audience member who is unintelligible]
We can't have a dialogue, we want to hear other voices. Ben, you mentioned the Healthy
Cities and the demographic and the age profile. Would you like to expand about how you think
that might be interesting? >>[Campkin] Just to say that, that issue came up in one of
the workshops that we ran and the need for better housing for the elderly, but also in
terms of a more active elderly population as well, so I think that's really important.
I just wanted to ask -- am I allowed to ask a question of Janice? In terms of thinking
about new models of affordability, one of the things that's come up in Urban Lab workshops
that we've been running and also Boris has been talking about, is community land trust,
and I was just wondering what you think of that model because it seems like a thing that
some people are positive about. >>[Morphet] I think it is, but I don't think it's -- I
think it's one contribution but I don't think it's going to reduce the volume required on
its own. So I'd support it wholeheartedly, but I don't think that's the only measure.
>[VP] Okay, we've got lots of other questions, this gentleman here. >>[Audience member] Paul
Rob, Birkbeck. Question for Ben Campkin, really. I don't disagree with your ethical principles
for regeneration, but I just wondered if you could say a little bit about how you think
those might be embedded in a regeneration schemes, given that if anything, the political
and economic tendency is for many of those issues not to be looked at. So for example
in relation to housing need, that's virtually a concept which is redundant as far as a lot
of local authorities are concerned because essentially, as you well know, when you look
at regeneration schemes that are being done, both in labour and conservative authorities
across London, the net effect of those regeneration schemes is invariably that either you get
no increase in social housing or you get actually a reduction in social housing as the old estates
get bulldozed and you get lots of private developments. So the question is really then,
how can one embed those ethical principles into the current political economic structures
given that they seem to be if anything going against those very laudable aims.>>[Campkin]
I agree, and there is no easy answer to that question. They are all almost all directly
opposed to the current trends, so this is the key question, but I think in terms of
setting a research agenda, these are issues that we should be dealing with. And I don't
think this was about a dystopic projection of the future, I think actually my assessment
was meant to be, it might sound pessimistic but it's actually realistic in terms of what's
happening now, in terms of what the research tells us. So it was not a dystopic projection
of the projection of the future. >>[VP] It's just the future is dystopic? >>[Harrison]
What I would add, and partially in response to Janice's point as well, I think ultimately
what's going to be needed certainly within local government is a culture shift in terms
of what boroughs are for, and certainly, I think an outcome from the localism act will
be that you'll see a divergence in approach across London. I mean that's not necessarily
something new, but it will probably be exacerbated, where some boroughs decide actually yes, it
is old, build houses, and we'll seek to do that and we've got the land to do it and we've
got the expertise to do or we'll bring someone in, and others will very much see that that's
not their role, and you just have to look at boroughs like Barnett and others who are
actually seeking to commission out services and actually see their role as being a much
more coordinating one, I suppose. So Ben's absolutely right, there are no easy answers,
and we're not going to get there very quickly, but you can see across London, areas of experimentation
where it's all behaving differently, and how successful or otherwise, how replicable those
models are going to be, we'll find out, I suppose. >>[VP] Gentleman at the back. >>[Audience
member] Hi, good evening, Gary Hayes. I'd like to ask the question about technology.
I sit in front of a computer 14-16 hours a day. What were we doing 50 years ago, and
in 50 years time, materials, energy, will be universal, we already have the solutions
so we can have as much energy as we want. The change in human performance will be significant,
with the growth of intelligence, artificial -- how do you see the city of the future?
>>[VP] Easy question. >>[Harrison] Easy question, yes. >>[Silence and laughter.] >>[VP] Well,
Janice, since you did speak of the future. >>[Morphet] I know, but I kind of avoided
technology because I think that's one of the most difficult areas to predict. If you think
back 50 years to the early 60s, then I think people were not even then much using phones,
landlines. I think it was very much a paper based, face to face working environment, and
then gradually it became more phone based, and then obviously to where we are. So I just
think it's quite difficult to predict how we're going to respond to devices, new devices
that are appearing almost weekly, that offer us new functionality. But it seems to me at
the moment that if you look at the amount of time that most people, lots of people in
business are now spending more time on Twitter, I was reading today (on Twitter) >>[Laughter]
than business people across Europe, than actually reading the Economist or Financial Times or
Wall Street Journal or whatever, so it seems to me that may go too far in one direction,
because although it's very social, it's also very isolating if you're constantly looking
at a screen. And I wonder if we'll come back to something that's a bit more personal, but
I think it's a difficult area to predict and I think that anything that we said today will
be wrong tomorrow. >>[VP] And Ben, if you've discovered courage? >>[Harrison] I have. I
guess what I would say, so the proposition that you put forward I suppose is one that
in various forms I guess we've heard a number of times in the past, and is actually used
to often say well, you won't need to live in cities anymore because technology will
allow you to do all the business that you need to do and actually have all the advantages
of living in a nice leafy countryside area and avoid the pollution and the congestion
and all the rest of it. And actually, all of the prevailing evidence says that that's
not the case, and the continual important of face to face interactions will remain and
the trust that they entail and the interactions between talented people that is currently
a hallmark of the London economy will continue to be important, even if we are spending 12-16
hours a day sitting in front of computer screens. >>[VP] Yes, I guess thanks to Janice's committee,
a lot of us were suggested that we work from home, and it was very fun for a bit, but I
also noticed a lot of colleagues couldn't wait to get back to have a chat over coffee
to talk about the Olympics. >>[Audience member] Alright, thank you, Steven Vauxhall from Regeneration
X, I'm an independent regeneration consultant. I wanted to bring up London's hinterland.
It's often said that London's economic footprint is much larger than its political boundaries,
so to what extent do you think the hinterland might change, and what extent does it have
to change for London to have all these changes that you're talking about, and also, connected
with that the point someone else made from the audience -- the rich are going to have
jobs, the poor are going to have job to serve the rich, what about the middle? Already the
middle has been hollowed out. >>[VP] Ben, you were talking about becoming a more unequal
society, which suggests there's lots of activity at the bottom and the top but the middle?
Do you have any thoughts on this. >>[Campkin] Well, I think London is a city where there
are polarisations all over the city, it's not so easy to describe it as a rich centre
and a poor outskirts. It's never been like that. So I think the polarisation will still
be dispersed around the city, and then in terms of the hinterland, one of the things
that came up in the workshop was the need to develop on the green belt and green corridors
or green wedges, so I guess that's a big debate which probably Janice will be able to say
something on, in terms of the immediate future. >>[Morphet] I mean, I think the movements
in London, the transport movements, Journey to Work, is not as clear, or is not as we
might think it is. If we think back 50 years ago, the sort of in-out movements, which we
think are typical, probably were, but if we think now, many of the movements are east-west
or lateral and actually in-out, so when years ago, I used to travel and work in Woking and
I live in Clapham Junction, so I was the only person getting on the train, and now masses
of people get on the train in Clapham Junction to go to Woking. If you go to Woking, which
is a place that used to have heavy commuting into London, actually now a much higher proportion
of people in Woking now work locally rather than travelling to London. Yes people do travel
in, but proportionally that is much more even than it was, say, 30 years ago. So in a way,
what might happen is that hinterlands become over time more self sufficient, but their
networks develop and they change the way they work. I think we also need to think about
the effect of Crossrail and what that will do. And the stealthy increase of orbital rail
is changing the way people are using London as well so you might argue that the real issue
is can the centre of London maintain its authoritative position when all these other things are happening.
So I think that's maybe an area where things will continue to change. >>[VP] Janice, I'll
just ask you a question. The London citystate, given its control over and no need for a green
belt because that's governed by England. So would we reach a situation where, in your
scenario, we had a gentrified city with leafy avenues where there were previously bus lanes
and so forth and shanty towns around Hartfordshire and St Aubins becomes the new sink space for
the [unintelligible] to be brought into London to support its affluent middle classes. >>[Morphet]
Well, Slough already has the most beds in sheds. You don't have to wait for the future
for that, sadly. I don't know. I think that places will, if we look at something like
functional economic areas and local enterprise partnerships are really going to work, and
I think they're going to be the new local authorities of the future, actually, but if
that is going to work then they're going to have potentially the same dynamics and the
same sort of -- I mean the whole of England is going to be covered with large-ish areas
which are going to be like Transport for London, and that's just about to happen in 2014. All
the areas outside London are just forming into those groups now by the end of this month.
I think one area where London is weaker is that it doesn't acutally look to see what's
happening elsewhere. It gets to its boundaries and it's a bit aloof from the rest but actually
the rest of England is getting organised and the question is what effect will that be for
London .>>[Audience member] Good evening, Paul Campy. I think Ben touched upon privately
managed land, sorry Ben Campkin, touched on privately managed land and with many of the
thorough-faires to the Olympic park actually being Westfield Stratford City where private
security roamed those thoroughfaires and where photography was not encouraged, shall we say,
do you think there's an inevitability that we'll have those sort of developments where
previously, perhaps, public land becomes privately managed, do you think that's inevitable and
do you think that's a good thing or a necessary thing for future regenerations? >>[Campkin]
Well, I wouldn't want to say it's inevitable, but it's definitely the trend, and it does
fundamentally change the character of what those spaces are and what relationship people
have to them and what powers they have to use them and to interact in those spaces,
so it's something that a lot of people are very critical of at the moment, so Anna Minton,
the journalist with her book Ground Control: Fear and Happiness in the 21st Century City
writing about the securitisation of public space, so the turning of public spaces into
an image of public space, but are actually places that are highly controlled and ordered.
>>[Morphet] I think factually that you can't compare Stratford or the Olympic Park in games
mode to the rest of the time, and we'll have to see what it looks like next year when it's
opened on the first anniversary, but I would say that just on a factual point, that because
the park is in different boroughs, when we were looking at design standards on the committee
for roads, footpaths, cycleways, we made sure that each of the boroughs had their standards
adopted in each part of the park so that they can adopt them without any problem when they're
passed over. And I think "old style regeneration" or old style top-down UDC type of approaches
would have just done one standard across the piece and let them get on with it, whereas
we were very sensitive to thinking about the management afterwardsand realising that that
would be the case, so I think it's too early to say really. >>[Harrison] Just thinking,
picking up again on Janice's point earlier of London borough land holdings and also the
land that's now been transferred in the GLA. It's obviously the case that both boroughs
and the GLA have some influence over that, and if those are political decisions that
will be taken at that level and therefore there's no reason why it would necessarily
be the case, I would say. >>[VP] Sorry, I'm just showing my naivete by being shocked and
surprised that different boroughs have different standards on footpaths. >>[Morphet] Cycle
ways are the worst. >>[Audience member] A lot of what was said here assumes a certain
path of growth or land maintenance globally, talking about wealth that would allow regeneration
and population growth. I just wonder if we are daring to look far enough into the future,
2062, you know in the 1930s the -- I don't think anyone would imagine that the British
empire would be gone only 20 years later, well, maybe there were signs, or that the
docklands would suddenly, within a decade or two, would disappear. And now that we see
the growth of Asia, the middle east, Africa, a lot of London's success is based on migration,
on international companies, it is possible, I mean maybe we're not stretching our imagination
enough, maybe in 50 years London will lose its significance in the global economy. >>[Morphet]
It could do. The points I was making about investment was not about global wealth but
the fact that there's already a certain asset value in London that can be utilised and resources
that can be deployed to utilise that. If you think about London globally then I think that,
I agree with what somebody else said, that it takes a long time to change, and we thought
that China was going to make the lead and still may they, but their growth rate has
come down, we've seen that this week, they're actually way lower than their target, we have
an uncertain leadership election, we don't know who's going to take over in China. So
global capital doesn't want to go to uncertainty and London has -- its problems in relation
to financial regulation seem to me more critical than anything else about threats from China.
It's the way it's actually managed itself. But if it can get through that then somewhere
in Europe is going to be that. And the issue about London being a capital city and having
that international role is not one that's shared by anywhere at all. It's not shared
by New York, for example, so it has a lot going for it. >>[VP] Ben, do you want to say
anything? [Harrison] I would echo what Janice said. I mean having said, we don't have to
look too far back into the past to a time when London's population was falling and you
would have struggled to predict that the role of London in the UK economy that it now takes,
so there is a point there that we don't want to become complacent about London's preeminence
on the global stage. I think there's also probably a point that picks up on some of
the things that Ben has said, or that we've all said really, that it is important and
it's likely to become more important that we remember who growth is for and make sure
that it's serving Londoners and, for example, the influx of overseas investment in London
properties is a fantastic example of that. It's heralded as a sign of success and of
buoyancy in the London housing market. But you don't have to look too hard at the housing
market to see that yes it may be buoyant but it's fundamentally dysfunctional and it's
not serving the interests of Londoners in many ways. So that's something which we must
continue to look at and is probably going to become more important. >>[VP] I said originally
when we started that UCL describes itself as London's global university. Experience
shows you can't have a global university in a city that isn't a global city. So, it's
part of our mission at UCL to do what we can to ensure that London sustains its prosperity
and its global position, because without that, we can't sustain our own global position.
So there's a degree of enlightened self-interest in trying to make sure that we don't -- it's
not futurology that we're trying to do, but what we're trying to do is to anticipate as
best as we can the challenges that our city faces and see what we can do to mitigate the
negative and accentuate the positive. I think we have time for probably one more question.
The lady there. >>[Audience member] Mary Conneely (?), very interested and as you keep talking
about a global city -- a global city needs to be well led. And I think my question to
the panel is about leadership and the governance of London. There are, Janice made some great
points about the issue about what kind of emerging city we want, where we close the
cars from Zone 1 and 2 -- how do we get to that ability to have that decision making.
One of the Bens talked about the idea that -- I think, sorry, it crossed over between
the two of you -- the question of capitalisation and realisation of assets. I've spent the
last two years working for the six host boroughs and as their chief adviser on employment and
skills. So there's a real issue about -- they had a single goal to coalesce around. That's
been taken apart, and the question of collaboration and moving forward, on how they go from being
the host boroughs to the growth boroughs is exercising minds, but some of the issues with
the way that London's governed at the moment, the role of the mayor actually dislocates
the boroughs a lot of the time, and the question of the localism agenda -- will it really allow
the boroughs to move that forward, or would that be seen as a threat to the mayor's powers?
I think there's a disconnect there and I'd like to hear from the panel on some of those
issues. >>[Ben] Happy to start, yes. I think you're right, there's huge tensions. London
in so many ways is unique to the rest of the country, but perhaps none more so than the
way it was -- the impact that the localism act and those reforms have played out, where
regional policy is being disbanded across the rest of the country but has actually been
strengthened here. I think the real concern which perhaps still exists amongst London
boroughs is that far from being an empowering agenda for them, they've had power taken away
from the top and that's gone up to the mayor, and then potentially, the empowerment of neighbourhoods
below them and actually it's made life much more difficult for London boroughs. I mean
whether that will actually be played out remains to be seen. On your point about how do we
get to Janice's utopian vision of a car free zone 1 and 2, and speaking personally that
seems to me to be a very pleasant set of circumstances to arrive at, there is of course a democratic
point within that in that people do like their cars [laughter], and it seems -- I was just
meeting with colleagues at Transport for London today and we all agree that there is a kind
of danger that in living the kinds of lifestyles that we do -- I don't drive, personally, you
can forget the fact that lots of people do depend on their cars in order to remain economically
active and so whether it's right that we'll have an all powerful mayor who can just decree
those kinds of things or not, I'm not 100% sure though I do personally probably share
your enthusiasm for the outcome. I guess I would reiterate just finally one of the points
I made in the presentation where I fully expect there to be another round of devolution to
London in some guise or another over the next period, probably leading up to the next general
election. Quite what form that will take I don't know, whether that will be the devolution
of particular revenue streams or funding pots, but it's -- I'd be very surprised if the mayor
doesn't want to try to capitalise on his popularity within the conservative party if nothing else
and try to push that forward. But those tensions, I would imagine, between borough leadership
and the mayor and other organisations will remain. >>[Morphet] Well I think you're going
to have to have mayoral candidates with big ideas. I think that's an important thing.
But London is already the least car dependent place in the country, and those figures were
published last week. And I think it's actually why older Londoners will live longer, because
they're used to walking, to using public transport to get to work, then they get their freedom
pass, there's a kind of culture of being on the move in London which I think distinguishes
it now from a lot of other cities where they are car dependent still even though there
is good public transport, so I think that's another issue. In terms of the boroughs, I
mean certainly the issue about amalgamating boroughs to kind of reduce the number has
been on the agenda at least since 1965 or 64, since we reorganised last time. And London
government is unique in the country as going so long without any kind of reform. Most other
places have been reformed at least twice in that period. Some people might say that's
because it works, I think the others might say well it's because it's politically so
difficult. I think the attempts to bring boroughs together to run services together has been
a stepping stone, or attempted stepping stone to see if that would work. I don't think it
will. I suspect the change will come from underneath and I'm fully expecting to have
a Holy Parish to London before too long, and parishes now have the same legal power as
local authorities and so, actually, you might get a different kind of change coming along
with local banishment and that's the the one I'd be looking out for. >>[VP] Do you want
to say anything about our St Pancras Parish? >>[Campkin] Erm, no, but just >>[Laughter]
my fellow panellists have given very eloquent answers to that question. My only experience
of dealing with the administrative boundaries in the city through my research is looking
at pest control and how pest control is quite radically different in the different boroughs
and pests are obviously a problem that should be dealt with centrally, it doesn't have respect
for boundaries. >>[VP] So if the fox can get over the border it's free. Okay, well, we've
had a chance to have a discussion on some of the points. There's so many more, I know.
Sorry if you haven't had a chance to ask your question. You will have a chance, however,
to catch the panellists. We are inviting you to withdraw to one of the great developments
of London in 1828, the Wilkins Building in the quadrangle across the street. There'll
be wine and refreshments available there, and hopefully our panel members will be able
to join us and you can collar them further. But in the mean time could I ask you to thank
our panel members for their contributions to this evening.
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The Long Legacy: London 2062 (UCL)

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Jou published on April 1, 2015
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