Mike Raco, Frances Brill
London has become one of the fastest growing cities in Europe. As one of the leading global centres for international finance, cultural industries, IT and high-end manufacturing, its economy is a mass generator of employment and the city is a magnet for inward migration. London’s population is expected to exceed 9 million by 2035.
Yet London is also a divided city and whose expansion has generated many planning challenges. There is an urgent need to provide accessible housing and employment for the growing population, to modernize the planning system to cope with the pressure of demand, and to create built environments that serve both public and private interests.
For many critics megacities are considered to be ungovernable sprawls that are too large and too complex to govern through traditional policy. This book emphasizes the tensions, complexities and difficulties in mobilizing policy agendas in the city, but also argues that public policy still matters and makes a significant difference to outcomes. The authors show how policy interventions have played a specific part in London’s recent property boom and its impact on citizens, businesses and communities. Because London acts as a key command and control centre in the global and national UK economy and is successful in attracting investment and growth, it makes it a model for others to emulate. Importantly, the market-led development of London has meant that the state supports more private-sector-led governance. This widescale privatization of the city’s decision-making processes and policy implementation has reached unprecedented levels and will impact the future development of London and other megacities.
Mike Raco is Professor of Urban Governance and Development at the Bartlett School of Planning, University College London. His books include State-led Privatisation and the Demise of the Democratic State (2016).
Frances Brill is a research fellow in the Bartlett School of Planning, University College London.