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Class, Community and Communicative Planning: Urban Redevelopment at King's Cross, London

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Abstract: 

This paper presents an argument for considering issues of class in analyses of communicative planning projects. In these projects, class interests tend to be obscured by the contemporary preoccupation with the class-ambiguous category of “community”. Through a case study of a project of urban redevelopment at King's Cross in London, we conceptualize and map class interests in an urban redevelopment project. Three aspects of the planning process that contain clear class effects are looked at: the amount of office space, the flexibility of plans, and the appropriation of the urban environment as exchange or use value. These aspects structure the urban redevelopment but are external to the communicative planning process. The opposition to the redevelopment has in the planning discourse been articulated as “community”-based rather than in class-sensitive terms. We finally present three strategies for reinserting issues of class into planning theory and practice.
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Keywords: King's Cross; London; antagonisms; class; communicative planning; community

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Geography, University of Bergen, Fosswinckelsgate 6, Norway;, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2009-03-01

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