About Just Space Economy and Planning Group
JSEP aims to build capacity within the Just Space network to influence planning policy in London on economic issues. A particular problem with the formulation of London’s economic strategy is the influence of groups such as London First and the City of London, who broadly represent dominant corporate interests. London has many other economies and economic sectors in play, with many sources of knowledge about them, both within communities and in universities. JSEP is seeking to connect up this knowledge, supporting the participation in planning on economic issues by a greater diversity of groups and interests.
Just Space Economy and Planning is presently focusing on the following issues:
- The targeting of growth: Opening up the targeting of London’s growth to greater
public debate, asking questions such as whether such growth is sustainable; what
sort of growth we might want and why; and exploring different growth scenarios.
- The loss of employment land: Exploring the impact of ways in which current planning policy supports the conversion of employment land to housing. This risks damaging London’s economy through shrinking the stock of employment land and raising the costs of employment space, pushing viable businesses out.
- The role of affordable workspace: Addressing the lack of understanding of the role and nature of affordable workspace, and lack of an evidence-base, as part of planning policy in London.
- Job quality: Exploring the potential role of public authorities including planning authorities in delivering quality jobs, as a response to the overwhelming focus on quantity.
- Involvement of local businesses and communities in planning: Working to support the involvement of a greater diversity of voices on economic issues in planning, in particular in order to make connections between usually-separated housing, transport, environmental and economic policies.
JSEP participants hold different views about the role of planning policy in London’s economic development, and the merits of their participation in it. While the group as a whole is committed to engaging in statutory consultation processes – on the London Plan, for example – others are focused on challenging the economic assumptions that underpin the Plan and to demonstrate that London First and the City of London do not represent all London’s economic interests. Many participants feel that it is imperative to build other ways of thinking about London’s economy and planning, in order to improve social, environmental and economic sustainability in the long term.
Currently, Just Space Economy and Planning’s main activities are bi-monthly seminars and termly public lectures. We are also developing our communications and publishing activity. To get involved, come along to our events, join our mailing list (jseconomy(at)googlegroups.com), check out this website, join our Facebook group (Just Space Economy and Planning), follow us on twitter (#JustSpace).
The group relies on the time, enthusiasm and interest of participants, so there are plenty of opportunities to get involved in organizing activities.