Housing an Anarchist Approach by Colin Ward

By Colin Ward

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If it is for examples Contribution to the Symposium on Barriadas and Squatter Settlements at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London on 23 May, 1972, partly printed in the Journal of the Royal Institute of British Architects for February 1974. i nilo-breaking, so far as the sacred rights of property are erned, we have examples all through our history. If you go bgi ! fur enough all our ancestors must have been squatters, mil there have continually been movements in this country's piiNl to assert people's right to their share of the land.

This is why a new profession has emerged, that of a facilitator, or fixer, for self-build associations. Colin Wadsworfh's entry [71] into this field has been justified by the invaluable help and encouragement he has given to others, but it does point to one of the most worrying things about our tangle of legislative restrictions, the built-in preference of the authorities for doing deals with large-scale developers while holding at bay a small and insignificant group who simply want to house themselves.

Indeed the evidence from this study indicated that they have positive drawbacks and may conceal actual dangers. " But what about the 380,000 high flat homes with their millionodd population which already exist in Britain? Can something be done to make high flats more acceptable? Obviously in the selection of suitable tenants: childless, relatively well-off, and sophisticated. Manchester, I hear, is finding that they can be used for student residences. From Miss Jephcott's study we may conclude that there are several lines of possible improvement: more investment in staff, and in more lavish lifts—both of which are very expensive —and above all community development through self-help.

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