Professor outlines inner-city policy

Managing cities' "jigsaw pieces" secures green space

A professor of social policy has claimed that better management of inner-city communities at a local level can help to create more green space. Professor of social policy at the London School of Economics, Anne Power, argues in her book Jigsaw Cities: Big Places, Small Spaces, which she co-wrote with consultant John Houghton, that Britain’s cities can only flourish if we acknowledge that they are made up of miniature communities that fit together like a complex jigsaw. Speaking in London last week, she said that if these “jigsaw pieces” are managed properly by local residents they can help create more green space and eliminate the need for urban development on greenbelt land. She said: “The more we build outwards the more we separate communities. We cannot build into the green belt. One of the things that breaks my heart is when regeneration means taking a bit off a school playground or a park in order to expand a motorway out to the new growth areas.” Power claims that neighbourhood-level management can achieve this aim by identifying areas such as public spaces, areas of scrap land, playgrounds, local shops and pubs that can be improved — instead of demolishing them to make way for new housing developments.

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