This book is a unique collection: ordinary Londoners, in their own voices, tell about ordinary London lives. Interviews with over a hundred people in eight localities, from inner-city Battersea, to suburban Heston, to Greenhithe on the London fringe, have been edited with a linking commentary by Professor Sir Peter Hall. The first half, "London Voices", introduces the characters - their hopes and aspirations, their frustrations and struggles, their determination and optimism. The second, "London Lives", introduces the themes that dominate their everyday lives: the struggle to keep their heads above water, the search for a place to live, the hassle of the journey to work, their friends and neighbours, their concerns about crime, and the quality of their everyday lives. This is not only an extraordinary social record but also a compelling read for anyone and everyone interested in today's London, or in any other great global city. It will provide a mine of information for future historians on one of the world's greatest cities and will be of special academic or professional interest to sociologists, anthropologists, geographers, planners and social policymakers.
"There have been many reports and strategies devoted to London's present and future, but not enough that really engage with the experiences of Londoners themselves. This book fills a very important gap, and does a brilliant job of capturing the contradictory experiences of the winners and the losers, the people in the fast lane and those being left behind, in a city going through a period of extraordinary change." Geoff Mulgan, Director, The Young Foundation
"London voices, London lives is an extraordinary contribution to our understanding of the lives and attitudes of ordinary Londoners. Far more than a survey, it allows us to see how people respond to the stresses and opportunities of a changing city and shows the difference that neighborhood makes in their well-being. Peter Hall has done a remarkable job of framing and knitting together the voices of a cross-section of London's population." Susan S. Fainstein, Harvard University
"Hall has done a brilliant job in capturing many of the key features of contemporary life in London. This book will stand the test of time." European Planning Studies, 10/10/07
"...this is an interesting book ond one that provides a different way of understanding London through the filter of lived lives in the metropolis." Urban Studies, Vol 45:11, 2008
"This is a fascinating read. Hall's interviews illustrate the
enormous diversity of people and perspectives that make London what it
is, and the amazing capacity of Londoners to deal with the constant
evolution upon which our city thrives." Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London
SPEAK TO MARKETING ABOUT TESTIMONIALS BEFORE COVER GOES TO PRESS
FAINSTEIN and MULGAN TESTIMONIALs IN REVIEWS SECTION
Peter Hall is Professor of Planning and Regeneration at the Bartlett School of Architecture and Planning, University College London. Author, co-author or editor of over 35 books on urban and regional planning and related topics, he received the Gold Medal of the Royal Town Planning Institute in 2003 and the Balzan International Prize in 2005.
Part one: London places, London people: Voices from the London streets; Part two: London voices: New melting pot: Battersea; Pressured proletarian island: Bermondsey; Transit centre: Upton Park; Airport city: Heston; Garden suburb challenged: Eltham; Arcadia under shadow: Gants Hill; Edge suburb: Greenhithe; Part three: London lives: Making ends meet; Finding a place; Getting there; Friends and neighbours; Fearing crime, avoiding crime; Melting the pot; Part four: London futures: Changing the world; Bringing it together.