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Architecture Foundation brings Outer London Day Festival to Greenwich

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Architects, historians and writers, including Will Self and Hanif Kureishi, will discuss and celebrate London’s rapidly transforming periphery at a major event in Greenwich this weekend

Curated by the Architecture Foundation and featuring four sessions of debate, conversation and reflection, Doughnut: The Outer London Festival will be held in the Old Royal Naval College on Saturday (5 September).

Speakers led by patron of the event, Will Self, will explore a range of ideas from a new literary consciousness of the suburbs to the sanctity of the Green Belt.

Outside, music and family friendly activities will take place alongside pop-up stalls run by businesses and artists from the London periphery. There will be an outer London Pub Quiz with architect David Knight and a Greenwich walking tour led by AJ competitions editor and poet Merlin Fulcher.

A 7pm screening of an episode of the hit comedy show set in ‘dull suburbia’, The Inbetweeners and a Q&A with the writers Iain Morris and Damon Beesley will conclude the day.

The festival backed at the University of Greenwich will kick off at 11am.

There are just a few tickets left for all individual sessions at £10 each or £25 for the first three. The AJ can give away two complimentary tickets to the Green Belt discussion at 11am and two tickets for The Inbetweeners screening and Q&A at 7pm to the first readers to email in.


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Readers' comments (1)

  • Ben Derbyshire

    I shall certainly try to het along to this.

    HTA's Supurbia study recognises the shortfall in supply from identified sources of land for housing and turns its attention to the possibilities inherent in London’s very low density and often under occupied suburban districts. It takes a starting point that London’s huge suburban tract is of variable quality and seeks to identify areas where there is potential for enhanced value through intensification.

    The facts are striking. According to The Centre for London, 75% of people in outer London boroughs (compared to 50% in inner London) oppose new housing development in their neighbourhoods. In Bexley, based on the 2011 Census data, 45% of the population inhabit the ubiquitous three bed semi. Sixty per cent of households comprise two persons or less, 80% are owner occupiers, 66% own cars, 24% own two or more cars. In one neighbourhood of Bexley which we examined as a pilot, we estimated that at present 38 households comprise 110 people including only 18 children, responsible for generating 304 tonnes of CO2 per annum. This pilot demonstrated how a series of changes over time could increase the population to 222 people at the same time as reducing the CO2 generation to zero – a dramatic transformation.

    Whilst it’s clear that Nimby attitudes thrive in outer London, we seek to explore the extent to which self interest may overcome resistance to change. The figures support our contention that doubling the density of just 10% of the outer London boroughs creates the capacity for 20,000 new homes a year – the area covered is simply huge so the capacity is correspondingly great and should not be overlooked either by the local authorities concerned or by London’s city fathers, who seek to find solutions to its housing crisis.


    Ben Derbyshire
    Managing Partner HTA Design LLP
    Chair, The housing Forum

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