Detroit warns us urbanists, planners and placemakers that we can’t allow placemaking to be mere decoration. Resilient places is about a placemaking which deeply considers the economics of place.
You see once ordinary people understand the challenge, and start to support it financially, the challenge changes. People talk about how and when, not if and where.
Bristol greeted the news of Margaret Thatcher’s death with a customary bout of rioting. Maybe it’s something in the cider, but every occasion between the introduction of bridge tolls in 1793 to the opening of a Tesco Metro in 2011 has been marked by lobbing lumps of concrete at the establishment.
Whether in the business, social, third or public sectors, few organisations are protected from the cold economic winds which have being blowing for the last five years and which are set to continue for years to come. And much the same scenario applies to most communities and neighbourhoods across the country, though, of course, there are places and people who are actually seeing their living standards and wealth increase as others experience the very opposite.
Resilience is too often framed in terms of the concerns of the government rather than people. The government’s civil contingencies secretariat sits in a corner of the Cabinet Office. It may be a very special corner, but it’s a corner nonetheless, and a corner of Whitehall, one of the most insular and disconnected communities in the UK.
The pension schemes need to invest competitively and see their return. We all need to see them investing in social housing.
To develop a progressive local political economy, we have a job to do. The neo-liberal outlook has become the orthodox and default position. We must jolt ourselves from it.
I do not believe we should lower expectations. No one wants to collaborate to make things worse. Raise the bar for thinking differently, and raise the stakes to hold people accountable to achieving it.
There is an investment apartheid in the United States. A market failure that, by implication, stops people investing their savings locally.