First published in 2009, during the late show of the New Labour project & against the back-drop of financial crisis. Its account of the privatisation of British cities – their housing stock, open spaces, streets, shopping precincts & public services – served as grim testimony to years of boosterist urban policy.


A new preface begins with the Olympic Park development, from compulsory purchase and enclosure to the Qatari buy-out and drone surveillance,  Minton re-joins the original text just a few miles away – in London’s Docklands, still the best example of “the architecture of extreme capitalism” the country has on offer. The spatial proximity between these two developments neatly suggests the continuity between the urban policies of Conservative governments after 1979 and those of New Labour from 1997. Many of the elements of Minton’s analysis were laid out on the Isle of Dogs: market-led urban development, the identikit design of quasi-public spaces, the growth of private security and gating, the stark boundaries between pockets of increasing affluence and those of impacted deprivation. And, she contends, the creeping unhappiness and fearfulness of many city-dwellers.

Available in store and online.

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