CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

High-rise building is not the way forward

18 November, 2021

Brill Place private flats in Somers Town are a fundraiser for Camden

• BEN Castell of Dartmouth Park Forum has got it right.

Developers are not the only ones building high-rise flats in Camden for sale to private investors. The council is playing the same game to fund its CIP (Community Investment Programme).

In Camden’s case they excuse themselves from this disastrous policy by saying it is the only way they can afford to rebuild failing council homes.

High-rise living is anti-social, resulting in people living isolated from their neighbours. It is also more carbon intensive in construction and operation.

The World Economic Forum recently reported on research published in the journal Urban Sustainability showing that the most effective way to build a sustainable city is not high-rise but high-density, low-rise.

The research looked at greenhouse gas emissions over the whole life cycle of a building, including building and servicing.

As humanity grapples with the climate crisis, consensus has been growing that increasing urban density is a greener way to live.

However, this must be low-rise to be effective in addressing the climate emergency. As Ben Castell points out, Camden Council has form in this, designing several innovative housing projects in the 1970s.

Unfortunately much of what Camden builds now is high-rise and very ordinary, as at the Abbey Road estate redevelop­ment.

Building homes of this type for no other reason than to raise money (rather than for meeting actual housing need) produces unnecessary carbon emissions, harming attempts to mitigate climate change.

It would be far better if Camden Council spent available funding on retrofitting existing council homes and bringing the high number of empty homes in the borough back into use.

SUE SHEPHERD
Savernake Road, NW3

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