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Adonis: Hundreds of 'city villages' could be created from council estates

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Council estates could make way for hundreds of new ‘city villages’ across London, according to a controverial new think-tank report

This is the central conclusion in a new collection of essays edited by influential former Labour minister Andrew Adonis for the Institute for Public Policy Research.

Adonis concludes in City villages: more homes, better communities that councils should ‘systematically’ exploit their ‘vast ownership’ of housing estates to ‘pioneer the creation of many hundreds of new city villages’.

‘The sheer number and size of council estates in London, particularly inner London, is far larger than commonly appreciated,’ it adds.

The report defines city villages as ‘areas of redevelopment and regeneration within…cities’.

They would be developed by a ‘new urban movement’ and could help solve the housing crisis, he adds.

The report goes on: ‘City villages comprise socially mixed, multi-tenure housing, planned not just as housing developments but as entire communities with integral and modern commercial, retail, and transport facilities.

‘They should include significantly more and better housing at a broad range of price and rent levels and are facilitated by local authorities, leveraging their land ownership, particularly council housing estates.’

According to figures flagged up in the report, London councils own up to 43 per cent of the land in their borough and that only a ‘tiny fraction’ of their housing estates have been developed in the past decade.

The report also features essays by architect Richard Rogers and planner Peter Hall, his last work before he died last year.

The full report will be published on IPPR’s website at 6pm.

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