New Start | January 2010 | 19
in with some of it. You can live alone and still use homesocially – but where that interaction is missing or lostindividual wellbeing tends to suffer.Home is an economic construct, too. It’s where we spendmuch of our money, and sometimes where we earn it. Atbest, it’s an investment in ourselves and those close to us.It supports local businesses and provides local work. But atworst, it becomes for the well-off an obsession with cashvalues and a stepping stone to individual advancementthat offers nothing to the surrounding community; and formany of the poorest, something that traps them in a placethey hate, stymies opportunities and limits life chances.But even in the most economically difficultcircumstances or for the most mobile people, home hashuge cultural significance. Our attachment to unpromisingplots of land can be remarkably fierce. Our investmentin our homes and localities is not just an investment of cash but of cultural capital and creativity. Planners anddevelopers ignore that at their peril.That attachment, though, can be strained. The mostrecent DCLG Place Survey found that although 80% of people in England were satisfied with their area as a placeto live, only 59% felt they belonged to their neighbourhoodand a paltry 29% felt they could influence decisions intheir area. And as the Young Foundation pointed out in itsrecent study,
Sinking & Swimming
, people have becomesignificantly less happy. In 1991 seven million prescriptions
Susie Hay:I long forpeople to take actionwithout waiting for the‘f’ word (funding) thatgets all off the hook. Nofunding equals freedom.
Yaser Mir:Includehigh quality design,sustainability , equalityand diversity – considerhow all communities canlive side by side.
Toby Blume:Stopregarding regenerationas something that can bedone without tacklingunderlying causes of poverty and inequality.
Rob Greenland:A smallerState gets out the wayand communities take thelead more. State works outways to support people todo things themselves.
Colin Buchanan (planningconsultants):Increasethe price of all modes of transport to encouragecity centre living, mixeduse development andsustainable travel.
Nick Poole:Reconnect tosimple everyday values,abandon the centrist stateand let people regaintheir dignity throughmutualisation.
Elizabeth Varley:Greatesthope for regeneration isthat all business becomes‘social’ business – thatenterprise always meansgood for community aswell.
Neil McInroy:Regenerationbecomes proactive ratherthan reactive in dealingwith economic andenvironmental change.
Chris Doyle:Ubiquitousbroadband for all in digitalBritain, bringing the UKinto the global digitalmarketplace.
Kelvin Owers:Tax breakson saving existingbuildings, and repurposingthem. Less focus onbuilding new.
Simon Cooke:Confidence,motivation, initiative,enterprise and community,not consultants andarchitects.
Dan Thompson:Small,locally distinct, communityled ‘acupuncture’.
Crispin Moor:Peopleand enterprise focus. Accountable andperformance managed.Rural as much as urban.Less obsession with mapsand boundaries andbuildings.
Gary Kirk, MedenValley Making Places: Tackle energy efficiencyin properties, and aprogramme to addresspoor quality housing andopen spaces.
James Kennell:Moreideological convictionto make up for fewereconomic incentives!
Giles Simon, Co-operativesUK:Communitiesinvesting in and takingover shops, pubs, localbusinesses, communitybuildings, local servicesand housing.
We asked people on Twittertheir hopes for regenerationfor the coming decade. Hereare a few of their responses...