Edge Debate 71: Can decentralisation solve the housing crisis?

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016 | Debates

decentralisation_mapThe housing crisis is squeezing young adults out of London. Yet many still see London as the only UK city that offers the career they want. What can be done to make other UK cities more attractive to mobile young talent? Four speakers present their approaches.

The UK is unique in that its centres of political, economic and cultural power are all located in one city. Political power is concentrated in central government in the UK to a degree not seen in comparable countries. To address this, think tank IPPR has called for a ‘Decentralisation Decade;’ a political project to push power out from Whitehall.

Some think this does not go far enough. Architect and researcher James Dunnett is proposing to move Parliament and Central Government out of London completely. Relocating the machinery of government to another UK city would dramatically alter the economic geography of the country.

If the crisis is a particular issue in the southeast, can we solve it by supporting growth in other UK cities? John Sampson from URBED will discuss how the ideas from their Wolfson Prize-winning entry ‘Uxcester’ are being applied to support significant growth of a regional city in the UK.

Accepting that London is likely to remain the centre of economic and cultural activity in the country, local solutions to London’s unique challenges are still required. Kathryn Firth, former Chief of Design at the London Legacy Development Corporation will discuss approaches to alleviating the crisis in London.

Charlotte Alldritt
Director of Public Services and Communities, RSA
Previously Secretary to the RSA City Growth Commission

Luke Raikes, IPPR North
James Dunnett, James Dunnett Architects
John Sampson, URBED
Kathryn Firth, Urban Designer and Masterplanner

Venue: Ramboll, 240 Blackfriars Road, London, SE1 8NW

Edge debate 71 - Flyer

Edge debate 71 Decentralisation debate report

Debate report on Designing Buildings Wiki

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