UCL Grand Challenges


Planning and Housing Investment

A Grand Challenges Sustainable Cities project funded by a Small Grant

1 August 2016


Grant: Grand Challenges Small Grants
Year awarded: 2016-17
Amount awarded: £3,695


  • Nick Gallent, Bartlett School of Planning, The Bartlett/Built Environment
  • John Kelsey, Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management, The Bartlett/Built Environment

Housing is being built but then consumed as investment rather than fulfilling a basic human need.  This is not only happening in London, but also in other urban and rural places around the world.  In response to the crisis, two different responses have been proposed: deal locally with problems as they arise through planning interventions (retain some housing for 'local need' or negotiate for affordable housing contributions); or tackle the more fundamental structural determinants of the crisis.  The latter is more difficult.  This project will examine the efficacy of local responses to structural challenges and the hope, if any, they have of delivering fundamental change. It aims to consider whether local interventions can stem the tide of global housing pressures or whether concerted, high-level action is needed.  

The research conducted in this study involved interviewing stakeholders, whose comments were then used to bolster the case the authors had already set out. Discussion took place around five issues: the path to intervention, the logic of intervention, the evidence base, observed and anticipated impacts, and market segmentation.

Impacts and Outputs