What needs to change about the UK’s urban regeneration process?
Meaningful urban regeneration improves the lives, and life prospects, of people living in deprived neighbourhoods in a way that markets on their own cannot deliver. The UK Government’s withdrawal from this activity has left lives blighted and contributed to the political disruptions the country has experienced. A few enlightened local authorities have sought to fill this policy gap by utilising their assets and balance sheets, working with the local community, to deliver the physical regeneration that the market never will. The Somerleyton Road project, led by the London Borough of Lambeth with community group Brixton Green and Ovalhouse Theatre is a great example. Working with igloo as development manager and Metropolitan Workshop as urban designer and architect it will deliver employment, training, homes and cultural opportunities for local people. Community leadership, public money, private sector skills are a potent combination to deliver urban regeneration but will require a huge policy and culture shift from local and central government.
Chris founded igloo in 2001 with the belief that value is created from sustainable approaches to regeneration. Chris spearheaded the launch of the igloo regeneration fund, managed by Aviva Investors, described by the UN as ‘the world’s first responsible real estate fund’. He helped devise the bid to Lambeth Council for Somerleyton Road.
Chris Brown, Executive Chairman