Two Westminster academics comment on the Grenfell Tower fire
Planning, Housing and Urban Design; Property and Construction; Transport and Logistics 6 July 2017
In a piece for the Housing Studies Association website, Dr Tony Manzi, a Reader in Planning and Transport, identifies deregulation, radical outsourcing, and austerity as key to understanding the causes of the fire, and challenges the reasoning behind each. He argues that the disaster is but one negative symptom of an underlying neoliberal ideology, and hopes that the event can at least give cause for pause in this trend.
Duncan Bowie, a Senior Lecturer in Planning and Transport, writes in The Conversation that the Grenfell Tower fire is the result of a series of political failures – of many governments. Mistakes include the ‘arms length’ outsourcing of the management of social housing, a lack of responsiveness to the concerns of tenants, building regulations not being as tough as in other countries, cost-cutting and a failure to listen to expert warnings on fire risks. He also warns against the building of high-rise accommodation in the future, both in private or social housing, noting that there is a continued enthusiasm for doing so in London.
Image copyright: Brian Minkoff / Shutterstock.com.
About the University of Westminster:
The University of Westminster boasts a vibrant learning environment attracting more than 20,000 students from over 150 nations and we continue to invest in our future with new developments, research projects and new ideas.
We offer highly attractive practice-based courses that are independently rated as excellent, many with international recognition. Our distinguished 175-year history has meant we lead the way in many areas of research, particularly politics, media, art and design, architecture and biomedical sciences, and our position in the city of London allows us to continue to build on our close connections with leading figures and organisations in these areas as well as in the worlds of business, information technology, politics and law.
Our commitment to educating graduates for the needs of professional life attracts high quality students from within the UK and around the globe.
Internationalisation, employability and sustainability are key elements in the University of Westminster’s vision for the future and we strive to ensure the very highest standards are met and maintained.