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Publication Detail
Vacant land in London: a planning tool to create land for growth.
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Article
  • Authors:
    Freire Trigo S
  • Publication date:
    01/01/2020
  • Journal:
    International Planning Studies
  • Status:
    Published
  • Keywords:
    vacant land; land scarcity; Lefebvre; Massey; London.
Abstract
Vacant land is a widespread urban phenomenon that has been problematised as a waste of a scarce resource, which needs to be brought back to use. The consensus around this belief has been almost unanimous, despite the contradiction between the idea of scarcity and that of vacancy. This paper explores the assumptions underpinning this contradiction to point to new ways of addressing the ‘vacant land problem’. Drawing on the work of Lefebvre and Massey, the paper suggests a dialectical framing of vacant land to understand how its socially constructed nature shapes its transformation. The paper reveals a static understanding of urban change behind the conceptualisation of Battersea Power Station and Silvertown Quays as ‘bad places’, which in turn legitimises and shapes their transformation. The paper argues for a re-problematisation of ‘vacant land’, whereby its function as a planning tool for growth can be challenged.
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