Sustainable Hackney has responded to Mayor Sadiq Khan's 'extended manifesto', A City for all Londoners.
It outlines the direction for his review of the London Plan and his other strategies. It is rich in ambition, but we have called for a rethink as the main concepts of "accommodating growth", "World City" and "good growth underpinning the document are 'Business As Usual'. Even though there are promises to build far more affordable housing and stronger communities, the profit-driven partnerships between corporations and governments to build new housing are all there. There is just no evidence that increasing the supply of housing for sale will reduce house prices and make buying a house affordable for Londoners. Instead we have called for Mayor Khan to pursue the eco-city model of fully integrated communities that stay within our environmental limits and to directly develop council housing on public land.
We've also pointed out that London is not an island! We are the capital city and should be looking to support the economic and industrial development of the regions through trading partnerships as well as through international trading arrangements. That way London can help create jobs out I the regions and contribute to managing the growth in population in London.
Mayor Khan's detailed strategies will be published in Spring 2017 and his draft London Plan will be out for consultation in the Autumn. We called for real debate with Londoners so we can participate in developing the Plan and strategies to reorganise our City for sustainability and for City Hall to provide the support and resources to make it meaningful.
The environment, transport and open space section of the plan has two key objectives:
- making the city healthy, resilient and fair; and
- making it resource efficient, low carbon and green.
Mayor Khan says air quality and climate change mitigation are just part of this bigger, integrated picture – ‘but I use them as examples in this chapter to demonstrate how I will approach all my environmental policies.’ And on supporting solar and local community energy enterprises and retrofitting buildings, ‘I will also explore the establishment of a not-for-profit energy company.’
But we are concerned that, without a change to the economic policies that have driven the financial crises, made 1% of the world's population as wealthy as the rest of us put together and saddled us with extraordinary debt, we will not be able to achieve the changes we need to reduce poverty and inequality, house everybody at rents and prices they can afford, live within our environmental limits and tackle and adapt to climate change. Watch this space!