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.
spaces (McCann, 2008). Thus, the image of the city centre as
both a safe entertainment venue and a place for middle-class living has formed
the key element in the way the futures of cities have been officially imagined
The enhancement of city centres in Europe in recent decades has been
directly influenced by what can be summarised as a European city model
(McNeill, 1999). The European city model extols a geographic imaginary of
the virtues of a relaxed, safe or urbane form of social interaction within a finely
grained urban fabric associated with
the same time, enlightened factory owners like
George Cadbury, Joseph Rowntree, Titus Salt and Robert Owen
built high-quality homes in model villages for their workforce.
Middle-class social reformers and wealthy philanthropists like
Octavia Hill and George Peabody directly intervened in the
housing market by setting up charitable trusts to buy existing
housing and build affordable homes at modest rates of return for
investors. However, these voluntaristic small-scale efforts were
imbued with a paternalistic ethos in which elites drilled upward
A pragmatist responds to epistemic and other kinds of frictions in the academy
contain 24 entries related to social class, including essays on class warfare and class consciousness and development of a consistent anti-capitalist position (for example, Dewey 1929/2008 b). Mentions of women are in the middle in frequency, at nineteen, and are less well developed theoretically.
Alcoff , L.M. ( 2006 ) Race, gender and the self . Oxford : Oxford University Press .
Alcoff , L.M. ( 2007 ) Epistemologies of ignorance: Three types , in S. Sullivan and N. Tuana , eds, Race and epistemologies of ignorance . Albany, NY
Dewey’s pragmatism and its implications for the spatialisation of social science
-time situation with more extensive regimes. In this regard, I turn to Shannon Jackson’s (2001) analysis of the settlement, in which she captures what she calls the ‘interspatiality’ of Hull House and the dual notions of ‘settlement’ that attached to it (settlement as place-making and agreement across division and difference). The house was purchased and occupied by middle-class philanthropists (led by Jane Addams), who gave their professional expertise and personal contacts in service to a poor Italian-American neighbourhood in Chicago in the late nineteenth and early
Securing or denying minorities’ right to the city?
challenge capitalist class relations and therefore can be
Urban gardening and the struggle for justice
operationalised as a tool for recalibrating social relations, inequalities and related
While there are multiple formulations of the right to the city, in this chapter
I specifically follow Harvey’s interpretation. According to Harvey, the right to
the city is ‘not merely a right of access to what already exists, but a right to
change it after our heart’s desire’ (Harvey, 2003: 939). This definition highlights
two aspects: the first
support, gender, class, ethnicity and language. Importantly, access to
CMC is about more than access to hardware or software – it is about social
agency because it is ‘a social practice involving access to physical artefacts,
content, skills and social support’ (Warschauer 2002, p. 10).
Precursors to using CMC are money to pay for access to the technology
and the knowledge of how to use it. These are determined by an individual’s location within society. CMC users in Britain are overwhelmingly
white and middleclass, and this results in a monocultural predominance
degrees and their entrance to middle-class networks that give them access to jobs in the professions, politics, the media and government. For this reason, those with ‘anywhere’ worldviews are culturally and politically dominant, asserting their worldview and values over ‘somewheres’.
Goodhart’s controversial analysis of UK society has highlighted the crucial role that universities play in maintaining this cultural split by nurturing an anywhere worldview among graduates through the lived experience of mobility and change associated with studying at a residential
functions of modernism remain very much intact in isolated and heavily protected pockets of success and security. Most advanced-country, middle-class elites live in these bubbles seeking to defend their interests. In what follows, I set out the provocations of the ecological crisis and previous calls for pragmatic responses to it, and then show how these calls have remained unheeded as we push ever deeper into the era of ecocide. Then a reading of pragmatism and NRT is offered to elaborate on some of their key shared traits. The idea of local, ecological, creative
Alex Schafran, Matthew Noah Smith and Stephen Hall
opposed to individual commodities, we are invited to ask not only socio-technical questions about technologies, user practices, institutions and regimes, but what these mean in a specific place or time.
What does it mean to cycle in a city? Cycling is becoming a more legitimate means of mobility for the middleclasses in India. 18 In turn this opens new territory for a spatial contract around urban mobility infrastructure which includes safe cycling. 19 This may be true for a salaried middleclass in Bangalore, but it sometimes depends on consuming