Our research informing UK 2070 Commission
The UK 2070 Commission is an independent group chaired by Lord Kerslake, which is looking at inequalities across the UK. In some parts of the country, communities face real social, economic, and environmental problems; in other parts of the country communities have more advantages. The UK 2070 Commission wants to tackle these ‘inequalities’ with a long-term plan. It is investigating how to make changes, looking at the period up to 2070.
Dr Sophie King at Mistra Urban Futures’ Sheffield/Manchester platform was recently invited to participate in a focus group in order to share experiences and knowledge arising from two Mistra-funded action research projects which were focused on socio-spatial inequality in UK cities. These projects are Housing Futures: Community-led Alternatives for Greater Manchester and Community-led Organising: Seeing the inner City from the South.
Key contributions included the systemic exclusion of low income communities from meaningful roles in decision-making, extreme power asymmetries in local urban development planning processes, and the unstinting hegemony of growth-based economics which constrains the potential for innovation and alternative imaginaries about the cities and society that residents actually want to live in.