Friday, September 12, 2008

UK housing smallest in Europe

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In Europe, only Belgium and the Netherlands have a higher population density [PD] than the UK. The average useful floor area in dwellings completed in this country between 2001 and 2003 is the second lowest in Europe, after Italy. One might reasonably assume that one is correlated with the other but the both of the low countries have much higher average floor area in their dwellings.

Some bloke observed that dwelling size . . .

". . . has impacts in all walks of life: children's education is affected if they've no space, and there's an environmental impact where people move to suburbs for space and then commute. Inner cities become the preserve of immigrants, poor people, and childless couples. The fear is that we're building the slums of the future."

When confronted by proposals that our government conform with the rest of civilisation and introduce mandatory minimums for the floor space in individual dwellings an industry whore predictably commented that:

"If you look at space standards you will be in danger of over-regulating the market and might add to costs of housing provision,"

Aside from the right-wing, libertarian assertion that regulation is bad ummmm-kay (because only the gods know what life would be like if the government actually looked out for the people it governs- just look at all those people on the continent in their nice, big houses [shudder]) . . . Newsflash: Bigger houses cost more!

Clearly this guy is a product of the comprehensive education system. What do the progressive massive offer as a solution to this rampant corporate and political prostitution of our living standards? Well, I would certainly support the introduction of mandatory minimums on dwelling space in direct contradiction of the corporate whore because better building design could easily compensate for larger housing developments. I mean the housing industry is hardly known for its respect for society or democracy now, is it. George has a thousand reasons not to trust anything these whores say.

George rules.

Brown field redevelopment and sustainable housing are all long-term, cost-effective solutions to the housing problem. They're just not vote-winners. Democracy in action- a stunningly misanthropic spectacle.

2 comments:

  1. I heard the "slums of the future" soundbite - the usual crie de coeur of the frustrated architect and social campaigner that this time they know better.

    Interesting that Scotland didn't abolish the minimum size regs and yet we're told that health etc in Scotland is terrible.

    Similarly, they only mention Europe - what about Japan esp. Tokyo where flats are tiny.

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  2. You may as well ask "what about the US, where houses are enormous?"

    Its a matter of population density again- in Japan its huge, in the States tiny. What you should be asking about is the ratio of population density to floor area. I can't supply such figures off the top of my head for the US and Japan but you have to ask why out of the nations of Europe, for which I have supplied data above, are our dwellings the smallest? And how does this affect our society?

    Thin walls, pokey dwellings, cheap fittings- we have a problem with an incredible lack of good quality, affordable housing. This is due to market failure- the building industry has failed utterly to produce such quality housing due to its greed and the government's ineptitude at regulating urban planning and the construction industry. The CBI has forced the government into submission over every meaningful attempt to force the industry to supply societies needs.

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