Regeneration or degeneration?

There’s was good piece by Rowan Moore in the Observer yesterday about the ‘regeneration’ of council housing estates built in the 1960s and 1970s.  He’s warning us to be careful of throwing out the good with the bad.  He especially reminds us to bear in mind that social problems tend to be caused much more by social conditions than by housing design.  It made me remember a conversation that I’d had with a former resident of the Heygate Estate who felt that the area had been unfairly stigmatised.   There’s clearly a complex blend of incentives for local authorities here – improve the existing stock, add additional stock, generate revenues and/or win votes.  In central London, there’s lots of moving parts and potential profits. The existing residents’ and the quality of the existing stock may not be the prime consideration in developing strategies to upgrade these estates.

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