On Thursday 17th of November, at the World Architecture Festival in Berlin, Patrik Schumacher gave a lecture offering his theory on how to address London’s Housing crisis. Given Schumacher’s well-known penchant for neoliberal economics, it was perhaps little surprise that his plan included a number of highly controversial ideas, such as the elimination of all forms of social housing and planning, and the privatization of all public space—with Schumacher highlighting Hyde Park as a particularly interesting opportunity. Though ArchDaily was in attendance at the lecture, we chose not to cover Schumacher’s speech, at least in part because the audible boos from the crowd indicated that this was not a position that the wider architectural profession was interested in giving publicity to. However, the news was picked up by a number of other architectural publications including Dezeen; as a result, Schumacher’s speech became front page news on the London Evening Standard, prompting a response from London Mayor Sadiq Khan who said Schumacher’s ideas were “out of touch” and “just plain wrong.” These developments in turn have prompted an outcry from the architectural profession, causing Zaha Hadid Architects to write an open letter in response to the furore. Read on to see the full letter.
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