Between the slum clearances of the early twentieth century and debates about the post-Olympic city, the drive to 'regenerate' London has intensified. Yet today, with a focus on increasing land values, regeneration schemes purporting to foster diverse and creative new neighbourhoods typically displace precisely the qualities, activities and communities they claim to support. In Remaking London Ben Campkin provides a lucid and stimulating historical account of urban regeneration, exploring how decline and renewal have been imagined and realised at different scales. Focussing on present-day regeneration areas that have been key to the capital's modern identity, Campkin explores how these places have been stigmatised through identification with material degradation, and spatial and social disorder. Drawing on diverse sources - including journalism, photography, cinema, theatre, architectural design, advertising and television - he illuminates how ideas of decline drive urban change.
Ben Campkin is Director of the UCL Urban Laboratory and Senior Lecturer in the Bartlett School of Architecture. He is co-editor (with Rosie Cox) of Dirt: New Geographies of Cleanliness and Contamination (I.B.Tauris, 2007)
'[Ben Campkin] challenges crude mischaracterisations of so-called "sink" estates and neighbourhoods and the people who live in them, and takes a hard look at the counterproductive, top-down, plain bad attitudes that often lurk beneath the "regeneration" banner.'
Dave Hill, Guardian
'[Remaking London] opens up a raft of issues and is always worth listening to.'
Andrew Saint, Times Literary Supplement
'One of the most readable and accessible accounts of urban change I have ever encountered, offering a stimulating and richly-illustrated account which deserves to be read by those studying contemporary urban gentrification and regeneration as much as by planning and architectural historians.'
Phil Hubbard, Journal of Historical Geography
'Thoughtful and timely… an invaluable text'
'...a skillful historical account of the intertwined aesthetic, moral, social, and political projects that have been pursued in the name of regeneration… a crucial intervention into contemporary debates about urbanism.'
LSE Review of Books
'Beautifully written, Remaking London provides a powerful critique of the contradictions of contemporary schemes, refreshingly ‘un-academic’ in tone, yet carefully researched.'
'...a beautifully crafted book'
'An important and much-needed corrective, full of fascinating insights, which exposes the myths of regeneration'
Anna Minton, author of Ground Control: Fear and Happiness in the Twenty-First-Century City
'...a must-read for anyone interested in London’s urban development.'
‘a series of powerful and quite frankly gripping essays based on personal observation…the author’s passionate and intimate engagement with the urban realm is a clear reminder of one of the unique strengths that architects can bring to these discourses: detailed observations of the interconnections of ideologies, form and life.’
Thomas Deckker, Arq: Architectural Research Quarterly
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd
Series: International Library of Human GeographyPaperback
Publication Date: 30 Jun 2013
Number of Pages: 224
Illustrations: 30 bw integrated