By Jessie Brennan
The financialisation of land and property is reconfiguring whole swathes of Britain’s cities from public to private, as a result of redevelopment. Peterborough, with its rapid expansion of housing, population and economic growth, alongside its environmental aspirations, is no exception: land is becoming a contested space with its uses bitterly argued over.
Re: development brings together voices, cyanotypes and writings from The Green Backyard, a ‘community growing project’ threatened with a proposed development by its owner, Peterborough City Council. This is an attempt to explore in the site one of Britain’s most contested territories: land ownership, and its radical political shift from communal to private.
This book is a collaboration between artist Jessie Brennan and the people who use and care for The Green Backyard. It is a contribution to the debates impacting communities across the UK, and raises many questions about what this community (and many others engaged in volunteer-run urban green spaces) stand to lose if the land were to be lost to development.
Contributing authors include: Sophie Antonelli (activist; co-founder of The Green Backyard); Dr. Alexandre Apsan Frediani (researcher of development practice; Lecturer at the Bartlett Development Planning Unit, UCL); Dr. Robert Biel (carpenter-historian; Senior Lecturer at the Bartlett Development Planning Unit, UCL); Dougald Hine (writer and social thinker; co-founder of Dark Mountain); Prof. Jane Holder (Professor of Environmental Law, UCL); Anna Minton (writer; Co-Director of UEL’s MRes course, Reading the Neoliberal City); Dr. Barbara Penner (architectural historian; Senior Lecturer at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL); Prof. Jane Rendell (artist-writer; Professor of Architecture and Art, and Director of History and Theory at the Bartlett School of Architecture); Prof. Ben Rogaly (geographer; Professor of Geography, University of Sussex); Dr. Maria Walsh (writer and art critic; Reader in Artists’ Moving Image at Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts London).
London, 2016, 31 x 24 cm, 112pp, illustrated, Paperback.