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Private greed, political negligence and housing policy after Grenfell

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.

Securing or denying minorities’ right to the city?
Parama Roy

(5 per cent), live on social security (15 per cent) and belong to non-​Western ethnic backgrounds (23 per cent) compared to the city average (4 per cent, 11 per cent and 14 per cent for the three parameters, respectively). Among a variety of other efforts, Sundholm district renewal is particularly lauded for its Sundholm community garden project, which is situated inside the Sundholm institutional area (see Figure 6.1). Sundholm garden was created with the explicit purpose of fostering social cohesion. Therefore, planners played an active role in recruiting a group

in Urban gardening and the struggle for social and spatial justice
Young people in migrant worker families in Ireland
Naomi Tyrrell

schools and 8 per cent of children in secondary schools in Ireland are from immigrant backgrounds. Ní Laoire et al. (2009) have used the detailed information from the population census of 2006 to highlight several relevant points concerning immigrant children in Ireland. For example, just over 7 per cent of all children living in Ireland do not have Irish nationality; the most common nationality of immigrant children living in Ireland is British (22,157 children), followed by EU15-25 (13,828 children) and African (9,788) (Ní Laoire et al., 2009). The scale and speed of

in Spacing Ireland
Jenny Pickerill

off by the nature of the people – the guys involved who use computers – the nature of the conversations they have.’ Some groups, such as McSpotlight, ‘did try and get in as many different backgrounds as possible . . . We came against the barrier of everyone who was out there tended to be from a similar background, and the networks that we were connected to . . . From the inception there was definitely a distinct lack of different ethnic backgrounds’ (Bob, McSpotlight). This reflects the general lack of ethnic diversity in the British environmental movement: ‘The

in Cyberprotest
Liam Harney and Jane Wills

notion of multiple truths existing in the world, the validity of which are determined not by appeal to an a priori moral compass or external reality, but by the strength of belief and the action they enable. As such, the expedition sought to explore how the pluralism of the citizenry and its knowledge could be adequately respected in pragmatic social research. The approach taken to this experiment was inspired by the model of broad-based community organising developed by Saul Alinsky, in which people from a range of backgrounds, but inhabiting a shared geographic

in The power of pragmatism
Making work pay
Sally Daly

European economies, Krings, Bobek, Moriarty et al. (2009) suggest that continued participation in the Irish labour market reflects the comparably worse situation in the home countries. However, it is important to recognise that the decision to migrate is not exclusively an economic one. East–West migration may be informed by participation in social networks and may thus be made in a collectivist context, especially that of a family (Oyserman, Coon and Kemmelmeier, 2002). It may also be informed by exposure to social, ethnic and gender conflicts (Godzimirski, 2005). The

in Spacing Ireland
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Renegotiating the Irish border
Sara McDowell

. Boom to bust: the tipping point and the invisible border By October 2008, the economic landscape in both parts of the island had changed considerably with the onset of a global recession and the demise of the Celtic Tiger economy. The appreciation of sterling set against a background of three consecutive quarters of negative growth in the South would transform the economic fortunes of towns and villages north of the border for the better. With a dramatic differential in prices between the two jurisdictions – the Republic being significantly more expensive with prices

in Spacing Ireland
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Postcolonialism and ecology in the work of Tim Robinson
Eóin Flannery

. Perhaps what aggravates Said more than anything is the wholesale cynicism characteristic of institutional and popular (mis-)appropriations of memory toward oppressive and exclusionary ends. Said’s temporal specificity on what constitutes the ‘modern world’ is ambiguous. The ‘nation’ and ‘nationalism’ – particularly in virulent ethnic forms – are the most culpable in these regards. In constructing his argument – one that is, at the same time, both uncontroversial and highly contestable – Said dwells on the adjacent disciplines of history and geography; and, in the

in Unfolding Irish landscapes
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Geographies of the post-boom era
Denis Linehan and Caroline Crowley

the transient grip on reality that typified so many boom-time plans. In light of the innumerable interventions that characterise the transformation of Ireland over the last two decades, to interrogate questions of ‘space’ and ‘place’ offers a wealth of opportunities to understand the nature of major social, cultural and economic change in contemporary Ireland. Spacing Ireland recognises how the events of the last twenty years or so reshaped Irish society, unravelled its ethnic and cultural homogeneity, and restructured the links between different parts of Ireland to

in Spacing Ireland
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Why gardening has limited success growing inclusive communities
Hannah Pitt

, especially as it is commonly said gardens bring diverse people together (Colding and Barthel, 2013; Hou et al., 2009). In practice, the groups were fairly homogenous in age, background and ethnicity. Simone thought ‘like-​ mindedness’ helped her garden function, suggesting the garden community was not bringing together diverse people.The likelihood of everyone getting on is very small, as Rachel noted: ‘it’s always a tension’. But gardeners focused on positive dimensions of community not on conflict and gave no account of the negotiation required to overcome differences

in Urban gardening and the struggle for social and spatial justice