Discussion of placemaking tends to focus on prominent places and big infrastructure projects, but the lives of most Londoners are affected more by the ordinary places where most people live – the suburbs. And on ordinary suburban streets we find a really telling lesson in spontaneous place making – and the degradation of places.
Read Andrew Beharrell’s thoughts on the suburban front garden - and more specifically the privet hedge - as a microcosm of place making.
This piece, first delivered as a Future of London conference talk, dovetails with Andrew’s homage to the semi-detached house, ‘Semi-Heaven’, written for the London Society.
You might also be interested in his proposal for Semi-Permissive planning reform to encourage adjoining owners to become micro-developers, creating new and improved homes in rejuvenated suburbs. This was published with collaborators HTA Design under the title ‘Transforming Suburbia’ and has influenced recent thinking in government around ‘street votes’.