A bold pro-growth strategy could set the UK’s housing market free

By Michael Owens | 23 November 2012 By 2025, China will have 221 cities with over 1m inhabitants, adding more than 350m to its urban population. In response, 40 billion square metres of new floorspace will be built. In contrast, here in London, there is a dynamic underground housing market for beds in sheds in Thornton Heath, Southall, and Stratford. Despite pressing needs, house building at the levels achieved in previous eras now...

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Keeping it Real in the ‘Fictitious Capital’

By Andrew Calcutt | 9 October 2012 Foolish to judge a whole book on this basis alone; but if the design on the front doesn’t give you the gist of what’s between the covers, its editors should be shot. The front cover of a new book London After Recession depicts the eponymous city as a ‘fictitious capital’, existing in a think-bubble dreamed up by a bowler-hatted gent of possibly Asian extraction. Of course the subtitle ‘a fictitious...

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How to win the long jump

Martin Earnshaw | 17 September 2012 Who now regards Athens as a world beating Olympic city? Today, the horror stories of abandoned stadia and rubbish strewn swimming pools, though disputed, are commonplace in media accounts of what happened to the Olympic site. The fear that the Olympic Park of 2012 may too become a wind-swept and neglected wasteland in the heart of a stubbornly run-down East London dominates the never ending debate...

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As China is getting bolder the West is losing confidence

Austin Williams | Monday 3rd September 2012 LIVING and working in China – where I teach urban design to eager architecture students – is a constant adventure. Unlike the UK, where we seem to spend our time discussing what, how or even whether to build, it is exciting to be in a country that is actually doing it. China is building 20 cities a year. Britain hasn’t built a city in the last 50 years, instead imbuing existing towns with...

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The Olympics… as seen from the other side of the world

Xu Xiangru | 01 September 2012 Despite the pessimism in advance of the games, in the UK they have been widely viewed as a success. Here a Chinese student reflects on what the Olympics mean to the Chinese at a special period in their history.  From Sun Yang’s world record in the 1500m freestyle to Ye Shiwen in the women’s 400m individual medley, shocking news has never been far away from the media coverage of these Olympics in China....

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