Disrupting the Speculative City

Property, power and community resistance in London

Amy Horton and Joe Penny


ISBN: 9781800087095

Publication: September 24, 2024

This title has not yet been published. Please bookmark this page and come back on the publication date when it will be freely available to download.

In 2011, police violence triggered an uprising in Tottenham that laid bare decades of neglect and state violence against the area’s racialised communities. In its aftermath, local leaders and corporate developers devised an aggressive redevelopment agenda that would have demolished the homes, workspaces and communities of thousands of council tenants, private renters and traders. Their plan was to transform Tottenham and surrounding areas from a diverse working-class place to a space for wealthy investors, residents and consumers.

Disrupting the Speculative City tells the story of how a community coalition defeated one of the most ambitious programmes of state-led gentrification in London. Known as the ‘Haringey Development Vehicle’ (HDV), it would have been executed through an undemocratic and speculative joint venture between the local council and the notorious international developer Lendlease. Thanks to the political creativity, tactical nous and extraordinary commitment of ordinary people, the HDV was scrapped by the local council in 2018. Drawing on the accounts of those at the heart of the struggle and analysing crucial developments in property investment, local statecraft and grassroots organising, this book explores a significant and inspirational success for campaigners in London, where social cleansing has become the default outcome of redevelopment.

Amy Horton is an Economic Geographer at UCL.

Joe Penny is a lecturer in Global Urbanism at the UCL Urban Laboratory.

List of figures
List of tables

1 Introduction

Part 1: The speculative city
2 Conception: Reactionary urban policy after the uprisings
3 Creation: The urban politics of the Haringey Development Vehicle

Part 2: Disrupting the speculative city

4 Opposition: Building grassroots power
5 Disruption: Tactics in and against the local real estate state
6 Conclusion: Beyond the speculative city?

Appendix: Key tactics against speculative redevelopment Index

Format: Paperback

Size: 234 × 156 mm

160 Pages

colour illustrations

Copyright: © 2024

ISBN: 9781800087095

Publication: September 24, 2024

Scroll to top