Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Monday, April 30, 2012

London mayoral election this week

Of course, I was sad when Ken Livingstone, who helped to revitalize London's transportation infrastructure, including rail and bus services, biking, streetscape and placemaking initiatives, and he successfully introduced congestion pricing as well, lost to Boris Johnson for mayor in the 2008 election.

Johnson gets credit for bike sharing because it was launched during his term--the bikes are colloquially called "Boris bikes" but actually the bike sharing planning was initiated under Livingstone.

I have no idea of how the state of politics is in the UK, and what this election means.  I suspect that in 2008 (and 2010) people were tired of New Labour and voted for Conservatives as a "change" and because Labour was in office during the onset of the Global recession/depression/real estate crash.

These days there's a great deal of backlash against Conservative Party austerity measures, and the UK has re-entered economic recession. 

Johnson is very likable and "fun" so maybe that matters more to people than the older and more dour Livinstone.  See "London mayor's race is too close to call" from the Guardian.

The election is Thursday May 3rd.

Election result, 2008 London (UK) mayor's race.  Wikipedia image.  Red = Labour; Blue = Conservative.

See "Tears and tantrums mark London mayor race" from the Financial Times. According to this piece, "London mayoral election - how to vote: Paul Owen explains the London voting system – and how you can vote tactically on 3 May," from the Guardian, London uses a form of preferential voting. -- Guardian blog, London Mayoral race Like in Toronto, "suburban" voters are more likely to vote than inner-city voters, and this tends to favor the Conservative candidate. (Another reason I am more leery of consolidated city-county governments than I used to be.) See "Blog home London mayoral election live blog day one – cycling" from the Guardian blog.

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