As the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire of 14 June 2017 has slowly revealed a shadowy background of outsourcing and deregulation, and a council turning a blind eye to health and safety concerns, many questions need answers. Stuart Hodkinson has those answers. Safe as Houses weaves together Stuart’s research over the last decade with residents’ groups in council regeneration projects across London to provide the first comprehensive account of how Grenfell happened and how it could easily have happened in multiple locations across the country. It draws on examples of unsafe housing either refurbished or built by private companies under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) to show both the terrible human consequences of outsourcing and deregulation and how the PFI has enabled developers, banks and investors to profiteer from highly lucrative, taxpayer-funded contracts. The book also provides shocking testimonies of how councils and other public bodies have continuously sided with their private partners, doing everything in their power to ignore, deflect and even silence those who speak out. The book concludes that the only way to end the era of unsafe regeneration and housing provision is to end the disastrous regime of self-regulation. This means strengthening safety laws, creating new enforcement agencies independent of government and industry, and replacing PFI and similar models of outsourcing with a new model of public housing that treats the provision of shelter as ‘a social service’ democratically accountable to its residents.
. Smyth’s work come closest to Robinson’s.
In such volumes as the Atlas of the Irish Rural Landscape, which Whelan co-edited,
and Smyth’s Map-making, Landscapes and Memory: A Geography of Colonial and EarlyModern Ireland c.1530–1750, we find gathered together and synthesised a wide variety of sources – ancient and modern – such as songs, poems, written histories, aerial
photographs and so on, that reveal both scholars working comfortably across academic boundaries in the same transgressive manner that is a feature of Robinson’s
work. In Irish Studies, Geography, more than any
, 2005). If – as in Michel de Certeau’s account – the earlymodern map removed narratives of travel as it worked towards the status of a
science, becoming ‘a totalising stage on which elements of diverse origin are
brought together to form the tableau of a “state” of geographical knowledge’,
then the GPS trace can be seen as a return to the map of ‘the operations of which
it is the result or the necessary condition’ (de Certeau, 1984: 121).
Writing with W. J .T. Mitchell, Hansen illustrates the way that GPS brings
about ‘a concrete suturing of time and space’ through a
, and the growth of democracy as key influences. Pragmatism’s birth in the fulcrum of earlymodern America gives it a flavour of being made in ‘the new world’ which was clearly a world in (violent) creation. The declaration of American independence had happened only a century earlier, and the modern peoples of America were consciously making a new nation. Thus pragmatism’s American heritage brings with it much baggage. There are of course the terrible histories of colonialism, genocide and early forms of ecocide in America – it was, after all, the epitome of the
the History of Cartography. London: John Hopkins University Press,
Harley, B. J. (1988b) ‘Silences and secrecy: The hidden agenda of cartography in earlymodern Europe’. In: Laxton, P. (ed.) The New Nature of Maps: Essays in the History of
Cartography. London: John Hopkins University Press, pp. 83–108.
Digital maps and anchored time 171
Harley, B. J. (1989) ‘Deconstructing the map’. In: Laxton, P. (ed.) The New Nature of Maps:
Essays in the History of Cartography. London: John Hopkins University Press, pp. 149–169.
Hind, S. and Gekker, A. (2014
time primarily as a municipal response to the horrors of fire that
haunted medieval and earlymodern urban Britain. Nearly 600
‘major fires’ were recorded between 1500 and 1900,20 the most
devastating being the 1666 Great Fire of London, which destroyed
over 13,000 homes. This led to the 1667 Rebuilding of London
Act, which outlawed flammable construction materials of wood
and thatch, and required all houses to be built of brick, stone,
slate or tile, and party walls between houses to be thick enough
to withstand two hours of fire. Anyone flouting the new rules