Open House London, 2017: A Tour of the Capital’s Council Housing

Municipal Dreams

The most important buildings in London – those with the greatest social significance for the mass of its people and those which have made the greatest visual impact on the capital – are council houses. In 1981, at peak, there were 769,996 council homes in the capital and they housed near 31 percent of its population.

It’s partly this ubiquity and familiarity that means most council estates don’t make it into Open House London, the capital’s annual celebration of its built heritage taking place this year on the weekend of the 16-17 September. And, then – let’s be fair here – there’s the fact that not all municipal schemes have represented the very best of architecture and design.

Housing protest Housing crisis and protest

But there’s another process in play – the marginalisation of social housing and its contribution to the lives of so many. We are asked to forget all that social…

View original post 2,860 more words

Who owns the City?

This is an extract from Anna Minton’s walking-tour for the Chisenhale Gallery in 2010 when the tour stopped in Canary Wharf in the heart of the Docklands in Tower Hamlets. She talks about what privately owned urban spaces involve in terms of regulation and control. What strikes most, is that Canary Wharf was not only built by big financial corporations, over the last years it served as main model for UK city center development. Good energy in this speech! The full walking tour can be seen here. Anna Minton is the author of Ground Control.