Cities for people, not shareholders

This piece originally appeared in the Guardian.

Covid-19 has caused terrible pain, but offers the chance to halt the financial juggernaut that sucks wealth from our urban centres

The pandemic is changing the way we live in cities. Many people are now working from home and spending more time in their local communities. While some smaller businesses have reported they are thriving, urban centres are struggling to survive. The benefits of this drop in commuting for carbon emissions, health and wellbeing are at odds with the financial model that has long underpinned city centre economies. It’s no surprise that the arbiters of financial capitalism have insisted that workers must return to the office. But what if instead of resisting these profound economic changes, we embraced them and built something better than the urban economy of the past?

After Grenfell: tenant empowerment and the end of cities as markets

The Grenfell Tower tragedy raises huge questions about public sector austerity, growing inequality and the price we pay for treating homes as commodities. Neil McInroy gives his view to New Start on the way forward for housing, community relations and cities

Neil McInroy: ‘If any good can come out of this horror, it will be a rejection of the idea that cities are predominantly a market’

The horror of Grenfell is linked to deepening and widening inequality and injustice in our cities.  The chasm in housing choice and wealth – while particularly brutal in Kensington and Chelsea – is replicated across the country.