Local authorities and housing intensification: conviction or imposition

Authors: Lucia Cerrada Morato*,
Topics: Urban and Regional Planning, Europe, Qualitative Research
Keywords: Residential intensification, governance, decision making
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Blue Room, Omni, East
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The new draft London Plan emphasises the need to optimize housing densities in order to accommodate the current housing demand. For a long time this approach has been seen as a way to prevent urban sprawl and deliver sustainability. In order to optimize densities across London policy on density from a metropolitan but also national perspective has shifted from a quantitative approach to a qualitative approach. This paper analyses the impact of the above planning policy at a local level as increasingly higher housing targets are set for them to meet. More specifically it queries whether the high densities emerging at a local level are the product of the local authorities place making vision or the result of an external imposition. Through a comparative case study between two local authorities in London the decision making process has been mapped and stakeholders have been identified through a quantitative and qualitative analysis. Findings suggest the planning and decision making on areas of residential intensification is influenced by a complex and varied set of circumstances and actors that further exceed the local authority agency. From the establishment of housing targets, to the reliance on developments to fund local authorities’ precarious finances and the decision making procedures and retracting of delegated powers; the paper will discuss the wider socio-technical planning system and policy discourses around residential intensification. The outcomes will help us to better understand the governance landscapes of residential intensification.

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