The Future Cities project

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» Communities

Fear of the modern mob

Austin Williams | 26 March 2007

Peter Roberts’ petition on Number 10’s website (‘We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to scrap the planned vehicle tracking and road pricing policy’) has caused something of a hoo-hah. It closed with 1.8 million people signing up within only a few weeks. Surely the government must have be chuffed about its much-vaunted e:participatory democracy.  Read more…

Taking a shortcut around the digital divide

Martyn Perks | 1 March 2007

Sunderland City Council has just won the Digital Challenge competition and been awarded £3.5m by government. While digital inclusion has become a major focus for funding and social renewal, it is questionable whether IT is actually being used for the right reasons. Read more…

Fear and loathing in Peckham

Jane Sandeman | 28 February 2007

The UNICEF reports that the United Kingdom has the poorest teenagers in the world, indicating that with the so-called epidemic of teen- age gun crime, British teenagers must be the devils incarnate. It’s surprising that the Home Office isn’t rounding up everyone between the ages of 13 and 19 and throwing away the key.  Read more…

Estates: An Intimate History

‘Estates: An Intimate History’ by Lynsey Hanley; Granta Books, 2007. 256pp

 Reviewed by Dave Clements | 26 February 2007

There used to be a sign on an estate I’d walk through in Hackney on my way home that read ‘No mind games’. I don’t know how long it had been there, so subtle and unassuming, but soon enough it was back to ‘No ball games’. Some pre-Banksy surrealist prankster had managed Read more…

Building Esteem or Housing Discontent

Dave Clements | 27 February 2007

The government’s obsession with child poverty has always struck me as a little strange. I don’t mean to pretend it doesn’t exist. But why child poverty? Why not address poverty itself? Read more…

Care Matters: Green Paper

Future Cities Project | 28 November 2006

Future Cities Project respond to ‘Care Matters: Transforming the Lives of Children and Young People in Care’, a Green paper from the Department for Education.  Read more…

Community Anchors

Dave Clements | 4 November 2006

In the latest issue of Interchanges, a newsletter produced by the Centre for Creative Communities, the strapline reads ‘Community? What Community?’ Read more…

Does Every Child really Matter?

Dave Clements | 30 October 2006

At his trial, Manning said that Kouao [his partner, the girl’s great aunt] would strike Victoria on a daily basis with a shoe, a coat hanger and a wooden cooking spoon and would strike her on her toes with a hammer. Read more…

Design Like You Give A Damn

‘Design Like You Give A Damn: Architectural Responses To Humanitarian Crises’ by Architecture for Humanity (Eds), Thames & Hudson, 2006. 336pp

Reviewed by Austin Williams | 9 September 2006

Cameron Sinclair’s long-awaited book begins with a personal journey of social and ethical awareness, which has taken him from a lowly ‘CAD monkey’, as he describes himself, to a fully-fledged professional humanitarian. Read more…

Tackling Overcrowding in England: A Discussion Paper

Dave Clements | 14 September 2006

Future Cities Project respond to ‘Tackling Overcrowding in England’, a  consultation paper by  the Department for Communities and Local Government, September 2006.  Read more…


Camouflage by Neil Leach; MIT Press, 2006. 289pp

Reviewed by Austin Williams  | 1 July 2006

After the Alan Sokal affair, cultural studies writers have been nervous of transgressing the boundaries between pretentious quackery and insightfulness. Reviewers too, tread cautiously for fear of humiliation. Read more…

Mobilising Active Citizens

Dave Clements | 4 March 2006

At election time every politician faced with a drubbing claims to have no time for opinion polls. For the rest of us, the general view seems to be that consultation is all very well but there’s a lot of it about and nothing much seems to come of it. The more cynical talk about government by ‘tick box’ or ‘focus group’.  Read more…

The Anxious City

‘The Anxious City: British Urbanism in the late 20th Century’ by Richard J Williams; Routledge, 2004. 281pp

Reviewed by Austin Williams | 28 April 2005

This is a very well researched, incredibly detailed and thoroughly insightful critique of the apprehensive period in which we live represented in a critique of a number of British cities.

Read more…

Dark Age Ahead

‘Dark Age Ahead’ by Jane Jacobs; Random House, 2004. pp241

Reviewed by Austin Williams | 13 January 2005

Aged 88 when this book was published, Jane Jacobs is certainly the grande dame of urbanism and it must be worrying for this book to be described on the dust jacket as ‘the crowning achievement’ of her career. Read more…

There’s No Such Thing As Society… Only Local Solutions

David Clements | 10 December 2003

People “should be told to be braver” if the widespread and socially-damaging fear of crime and strangers is to be beaten, Miranda Sawyer, author of a book that investigated local neighbourhoods told a day-long conference Future Vision: Future Cities at the London School of Economics. Read more…

Rebranding Parochialism

Austin Williams | 21 November 2003

There’s a point in most cowboy movies from the Fifties, when the out-of-town sheriff steps in to stop an angry mob from taking the law into their own hands. Read more…

Areas of grave concern

Austin Williams | 23 Nov 2002

Why are children in poor neighbourhoods more at risk of traffic accidents?  In an article that originally appeared in the Daily Telegraph, Austin Williams investigates. Read more…