One thought on “The explosive concoction of globalisation and the rising cost of housing”

  1. Interesting and highly topical given that many commentators assert that the UK, once again, in in the midst of a ‘housing crisis’. It reminds me of the book, ‘Triumph of the City’, a few years back by Harvard academic ‘Ed’ Glaeser. It’s a book I generally was not much impressed by (not least because of its questionable economics). Glaeser did, nonetheless, make one telling observation about the urban regeneration field that I’m familiar with. His finding was what he saw as the biggest strategic error in urban regeneration made by large urban authorities and state governments across the Western economies. That was the mass provision of cheap housing (‘cheap’ in quality and prices to the consumer). He argued that this simply denuded, even destroyed, existing local housing markets and systems. Existing owners and purchasing owners found their properties dropping hugely in value, or even becoming worthless (see Detroit?). For the hapless lower or nil income earning renters they were often entrapped in low quality, badly located, mono-type, managerialy problematic housing run by the local state (see USA projects, France’s banlieues, Scotland’s housing schemes and England’s peripheral estates etc.). There have, of course, been exceptional turn-arounds in that gloomy perspective. Not least is the (unparalleled?) success of the community based housing association movement in Glasgow, Scotland, from the late 1970s onward. That is an example of the role in cities that can be played by socially and economically sustainable model that is: a not-for-profit landlord; managed with an ethos of meaningful and effective engagement with the user community; making judicious use of partial state funding; and subject to rigorous independent regulatory oversight. Where does that model lie in the concept of ‘progressive capitalism’?

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