A whole raft of new thinking is converging on the way land and existing buildings are used for housing. April's Planning in London5 claims that the rulebook is about to rewritten and carries a feature on density by Terry Farrell, Patrick Clarke of Llewelyn-Davies and Jenni Fender of the London Planning Advisory Committee.
Farrell contrasts our anti-urban culture with the urban tradition based on fortified settlements on the continent, and shows that although Hong Kong and Greater London have similar areas and populations, Hong Kong's development could fit in London's open spaces! Clarke shows how infill development can be designed to densities well above those presently permitted if car ownership is reduced. Already in London, density limits are being breached successfully where the housing is converted from other uses. Planning in London also questions whether this helpful phenomenon can be counted on in future, however, with the resurgence in demand for offices and hotels and the imposition of onerous development levies for affordable housing.