Globalisation, Governance and City
Development: East London
Sue Brownill
• Two key questions the network is seeking to address;
– How is urban governance responding to challenges of
globalisation, equity and climate change?
– Are different, more flexible forms and practices of governing
capable of meeting such challenges emerging? The search for
the just and sustainable city.
• These raise broader issues and questions about how we
characterise and understand governance :
– How can we use the differing experiences and understandings in
the two countries to build new ways of looking at the relationship
between governance, equity and sustainability; theory coproduction
– What forms and practices of governance and policy making are
emerging on the ground in the UK and Brazil?
– What can we learn from these?
• Exploration of dynamics of city development strategies
on the ground; focus on East London
• Complex, dynamic and shifting situation - suggests
challenge is not just a search for particular forms and
scale of governance
• Examine in relation to ideas of flexibility, hybridity and
assemblages- notion of development projects as
condensing and combining different governance
strategies, publics, spatial scales, political discourses.
• In turn raises questions about how we understand city
developments and how we plan and put ideas into
East London
• Canary Wharf and
• The London Plan
• Some Alternatives
• Implications of
• Some reflections
Canary Wharf; Securing London’s Role as a
World City?
• Discourse of
addressing market
failure in East London
• Promoting London as
a financial centre
• Hierarchical,
building bridges
or ‘post-political’ regeneration?
• Local labour agreements
during construction
• Construction skills centre
• Skillsmatch- local job agency
• Centre for Vocational
Excellence in financial
services at local colleges
• Corporate Social
Responsibility – community
liaison officer
• Isle of Dogs Community
An East London Water City for the
21st Century
The LDDC in the 80s?
No, New Labour in
A Different Narrative? Livingstone’s
London Plan
By 2020, the aim is for East London and
the London Thames Gateway to be a
new kind of exemplary, sustainable
world class urban quarter, avoiding the
mistakes of new town and other past
development policies.
The London Plan 2004
• Vision of competitive, global city;
– to develop London as an exemplary, sustainable world city
based on the three balanced and interwoven themes of strong,
long-term and diverse economic growth, social inclusivity and
fundamental improvements in the environment and use of
resources (GLA, 2004 p5)
Polycentric – sustainable use of brownfield; sub-regions
Strategic flexibility
Value capture; social housing and planning gain
‘Business privilege’ (Thornley)
Other key policies; congestion charge and transport
But could it balance different objectives?
Different Ways of Seeing
• Massey (1997) sees in Livingstone’s London the
possibility of a new territorial politics and a
different configuration of local/global relations.
• Not a victim of globalisation- relational
• This means places become ‘a field of multiple
actors, trajectories, stories with their own
energies – which may mingle in harmony,
collide, even annihilate each other’ p22
a new era?
• Johnson elected 2008; London Plan Revisions
– London should excel among global cities –expanding
opportunities for all its people and enterprises,
achieving the highest standards and quality of life and
leading the world in its approach to tackling the urban
challenges of the 21st century, particularly that of
climate change
• Contradictory rescaling of governance
– Centralising; London-wide LEP, greater powers
– De-centralising, more ‘flexible’ towards Boroughs,
TIFs etc
• Selling of bid on basis
of regeneration of
East London
• But doubts over
whether this will fully
materialise and who
will benefit
Olympic Legacy?
postcards from the future?
• Other more localised
developments point to alternative
dynamics; different discourses of
development, different ways of
planning as well as different
governance forms
• Rich Mix Centre Bethnal Green;
reconceptualising globalisation
– TELCO – challenging globalisation
and polarisation
beyond London
• London to some extent atypical as still has
regional governance
• Other places reveal differing experiences,
governance arrangements and local
• Manchester
– City region
– ‘team Manchester’ growth coalition
– Does localism lead to different outcomes?
• Oxford/shire
– City
– Local initiatives
some thoughts for discussion
• Complex situation; can’ t ‘read off’ outcomes from
forms or scales of governance
• So does governance matter?
• Yes, but.....
• Need to explore development strategies and
projects in terms of combinations, hybridities or
‘assemblages’ of
– different political discourses,
– modes of governance( hierarchical, participatory, cogovernance)
– spatial scale
– publics
some thoughts for discussion
• Means contradictory potential depending
on dynamics
• But potential for opening up spaces and
adding to the mix
• Raises questions about how we plan
• Nature of the organisations involved
• Skills and role of planners and publics

Globalization, Governance and City Development