The leader of Barking and Dagenham Town Council has just unveiled plans for a £2 billion transformation of the London borough into a “mini-Manhattan”. The announcement was made last week at MIPIM, the annual gathering of property movers and shakers in Cannes. The ambitious plan will see 6,000 new homes over 10 years, the redevelopment of Barking station and new green space, dubbed "Central Bark". No doubt it won't be long before we see local rickshaw drivers offering tours of the park at eye-watering rates.
The vision for Barking is just the latest in a series of large scale urban regeneration schemes in London. Despite this, the shortage of affordable housing in the capital is a significant and enduring problem. Getting regeneration right is no walk in the park; today's article in the Guardian highlights a report from the Centre for Cities that Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham have led the growth in city centre homes and jobs since the turn of the century. However the thinktank cautions that the boom in residential development in these cities is now crowding out the commercial development required for city centre jobs and it is urging the government to use planning policy to create a better balance.
Our Urban Regeneration Conference 2018 brings together a range of property and planning experts as well as local authority leaders and academics to examine the challenges in large urban regeneration projects and discuss ways in which they can be overcome. Whether you advise local authorities or developers, it's a great opportunity to contribute to the debate.
Cities in the north and the Midlands have been transformed by a period of rapid regeneration that has seen population and jobs growth far exceed that of London since the turn of the century, according to a new report. The Centre for Cities thinktank said urban renaissance in Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham and Liverpool had been so marked that problems of urban decay had been replaced by a need to find room for further expansion. Calling for changes to planning laws to permit commercial and residential development, the thinktank said the central districts of England’s big regional cities had all seen their populations grow more than six times as quickly as that of central London.