UrbanBuzz expo opens in London
9 October 2008
UrbanBuzz, the UCL-led programme for sustainable communities, kicked off its six-week run at The Building Centre's Launchpad gallery in West London last night.
Backing for the two-year UrbanBuzz project came from central government and it brought together academics, architects and builders in sector to convert research results into new practical tools and processes to help build sustainable city communities.
The event was launched by Dr Tim Williams, Head of Regeneration & Housing Advisory at Navigant Consulting's Public Services Practice. In a speech that touched on what needs to be done to restart the housing market, Dr Williams looked at the impact of the financial crisis on development.
He said: "The state has responded to the crisis in the finance markets by assuming direct responsibility for failed banks and will in some way take a share in other banks to ensure stability.
"It should be no different with housebuilding. It is not just lending which has stopped. Housebuilding has stopped and it won't quickly return after the lending crisis is dealt with.
"We cannot meet housing need unless the public sector directly builds new homes and also de-risks development in new model joint ventures with the private sector. We cannot wait for something to turn up. We must act."
Projects featured in the showcase include an examination of the impact of the Mayor of London's transportation strategy on CO2 emissions, skewing gender bias in planning urban environments and the future of social housing.
Many of the project coordinators and partners will be on hand to discuss individual projects throughout the showcase, during which time there will be a full programme of events.
UrbanBuzz runs until November 15th and entry is free. For more information click on the links above.