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.
enthusiastically embraced PFI as the ‘cornerstone’ of its so-called
‘modernisation’ agenda for public services. It appointed Malcolm
Bates, former Private Finance Panel member and then chairman
of private insurer, Pearl Assurance, to review PFI, supported
by the UK arm of the US accountancy firm Arthur Andersen.
Bates’s recommendations led to the Private Finance Panel being
replaced by a Treasury task force, divided into a policy arm run
by civil servants and a projects section employing eight private
sector executives led by Adrian Montague, a merchant banker
Urban transformation and public health in future cities
Michael Keith and Andreza Aruska de Souza Santos
volume we have drawn together a series of contributions that address pressing issues of urban public health. Our starting points are twofold. The first is the recognition that in the twenty-first century the majority of the globe’s urban populations will live in cities. The cities of continents that are at the heart of this volume in Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia demonstrate different trajectories of historical and contemporary urbanisation and futures of urban growth. The examples we have brought together from cities in Brazil, UK, China and Africa are
individual rights. It is also a space in which time is embedded in geographical practice (as Schwanen and Nixon discuss in Chapter 4 ). Public health systems always balance what is plausible in the immediate present with what might be possible in the near and distant future. These sorts of trade-off and the instabilities of complex systems are as true in cities of the global south as they are in the global north. In this sense health features prominently in ‘development policy’ in the cities of the global south that constitute an increasingly significant proportion of
Alex Schafran, Matthew Noah Smith and Stephen Hall
, ‘Developing or managing the poor: the complexities and contradictions of free basic electricity in South Africa (2000–2006)’, Africa Development 36.1 (2011), pp. 119–42. We do not imply that 50kWh is sufficient for an average household, but the point is that the basic provision argument is illustrated by this example.
6 Smart Systems and Heat programme: Phase 2 Summary of key insights and emerging capabilities , Energy Systems Catapult, Birmingham, https://es.catapult.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Smart-Systems-Heat-Phase-2-Summary
intensification in the UK, Geddes and Scott
(2010) suggest that the availability of a migrant workforce has acted as a de
facto industry subsidy to keep food prices low and to avoid excessive reliance
on imports. While the benefits to consumers are obvious, this has negative
implications for workers. In an analysis of African immigrant employment in
Spanish agriculture, Hoggart and Mendoza (1999) emphasise the uncertainty of farm work due to the lack of permanent contracts accompanied by low
wages and poor working conditions.
A brief profile of the horticultural labour force
Young people in migrant worker families in Ireland
in Ireland has received attention in political
circles and in the popular press due to a number of ‘moral panics’ concerning children’s education and socialisation (Ní Laoire et al., 2009) and, more
recently, the economic recession. In times of economic uncertainty, immigration often is perceived as a threat and of concern to society. Recent research
by Spencer, Ruhs, Anderson and Rogaly (2007) in a UK context suggests that
migrant workers who migrate with children are more likely to intend to remain
living in their host country, specifically because they are more
Today the area is very different, having undergone major demographic change since around the 1970s, with waves of in- and out-migration fragmenting the community. The docks declined and thousands of people lost their jobs, devastating the local economy. Families that had lived in the area for generations left for better opportunities elsewhere, mainly moving to Essex and Kent. Newcomers arrived not just from South Asia, but Africa, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe, whilst new middle-class migrants arrived from Western Europe, the USA and other parts of the UK to work
community gardens provided a personal salvation that was achieved by means of
collaboration with others and for the benefit of many others more (Eizenberg,
2012a; Schmelzkopf, 1995).
Since then, the idea has crossed oceans. The impressive bundle of benefits
to human physical and psychological health, as well as to urban community life,
might explain the surge of different forms of communal urban gardening during
the last few decades on all five continents, including Asia and Africa. In some
parts of the world, an old tradition was revived in the contemporary context and
chapter will provide a reading of political
gardening literature, outlining rationales for ‘public’ engagement with UG.This informs
a framework that maps the trajectories groups take in pursuit of spatial justice. We
illustrated with UK case studies. The conclusion speculates a definition for political UG that reflects the process by which gardens ‘turn’ political. The implication
of this political ‘turn’ through process is the creation of active ‘democratised’ citizens
who recognise injustice and hold a heightened awareness of rights.
Neoliberal processes and