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Leave London alone

Ken Livingstone's development plan for London is an ill-guided attempt to impose order on the city's creative chaos

By Paul Barker   May 2007

London has always thrived on a gentle version of anarchy. It wasn’t created, or much shaped, by royal or imperial edicts. Nor will it be, I now trust, by mayoral ones. Apropos Ken Livingstone and London, Prospect last month asked: “Is his megalopolis out of control?” To which the best answer is: “Let’s hope so.”

To Prospect Livingstone spoke like a wheeler-dealer, who adapts to almost anything. Not quite so: he is a man with a Plan. “The spatial development strategy for greater London”—otherwise known as the London Plan—was published in 2004. Anyone living in London must pray it is…

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