Housing crisis

London is one of the greatest cities in the world: financially, commercially and artistically. But the downside is a population growing much faster than the available housing, plus all the stresses that overcrowding and undersupply cause
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Come to the Evening Standard debate on London’s homes shortage

London apartment overlooking River Thames
World-class city but London is desperate for more homes - and soon
Everyone from government economist Kate Barker to Prime Minister Gordon Brown says we need hundreds of thousands of new homes each year in the capital. Our booming economy is pulling in workers from all over Europe; we are now living longer; and more people are choosing to live alone rather than in couples or families. Each of these factors increases the need for homes.

But is it all talk? Who is going to build these homes? What are they going to look like? Where are they going? Who is going to make those decisions — and are they going to make them in time?

Thames Gateway, the largest brownfield site in Europe, is one place that could house this growing population. But do Londoners want to live in new towns there? Other solutions include ingenious small flats — micro-flats — giving individuals 400sq ft of living space; building upwards on top of London’s existing housing stock; high-rise buildings with clever use of space; or shoehorning new developments into awkward plots of land, or brownfield sites.

Join the debate
The Evening Standard, in association with the Architecture Foundation and YouGov, is holding a debate with influential thinkers to try to find a solution to the crisis.

Debaters include Sir Terry Farrell, an expert on the Thames Gateway and architect whose designs include The Peak Tower, Hong Kong; Nigel Hugill, chairman of LendLease Europe; Rowan Moore, director of the Architecture Foundation; and Neale Coleman, housing adviser to The Mayor of London. Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland will be in the chair.

When and where
London Influentials Debate 2007: Who Can Solve London’s Housing Crisis? takes place on Tuesday, 16 October at the Royal Society of Arts, 8 John Adam Street, WC2, at 6.30pm. There will be free drinks.

This event is free. Priority will be given to Eros Card holders. Please visit www.standard.co.uk/rewards to reserve a ticket for you and a guest. If you are not already a cardholder you can register for free at the same time. Tickets will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

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