This House Believes Planners Should Stop Social Engineering.

Central Control and Market Freedom


Autumn, 24 October 2007.

Do we want to be socially engineered? An evening of lively discussion that questioned the socio-economic objectives of planning the built environment. The event aimed to challenge planning as an accepted tool for social good and debate its role in shaping the current trend for large-scale mixed developments.

London’s huge economic and social diversity presents numerous challenges. The city has been subject to many grand and visionary attempts to engineer its fabric in order to produce a set of socially conscious objectives. The latest socially inclusive set of planning goals aim at achieving change in a sustainable, subtle and gradual way. Social engineering and the goal of truly mixed communities is now sought via urban development and design, but will it work? Is the current planning system too idealistic in its aims? Is it stifling the freedom of the developer and the architect to respond to market and client demands? Is all planning social engineering?


Supporting- Nick de Lotbiniere and Stuart Piercy.
Opposing- Angela Brady and David West.