New Director Of Zaha Hadid Architects Wants An End To City Control Of Planning

Zaha Hadid Architects director Patrik Schumacher wants to end government regulation of the housing market.

Parks should be privatized, and public housing and zoning rules should be abolished, he said.

Schumacher took over as chief of the 400-employee firm following the death of Hadid in Miami earlier this year.

At a speech in Berlin last month, Schumacher set out a list of demands, according to Dezeen:

  1. Regulate the Planners: Development rights must be the starting point, then tightly define and circumscribe the planners’ scope and legitimate reasons for constraining development rights: access/traffic constraints, infringements of neighbours’ property utilisation (rights of light), historic heritage preservation, pollution limits. Nothing else can be brought to bear – no social engineering agendas!
  2. Abolish all land use prescriptions: The market should perhaps also allocate land uses, so that more residences can come in until the right balance with work and entertainment spaces is discovered. Only the market has a chance to calibrate this intricate balance.
  3. Stop all vain and unproductive attempts at “milieu protection” (which ban conversion of rentals to condos in an attempt to protect the local residents.)
  4. Abolish all prescriptive housing standards: Planners and politicians should also stay away from housing standards in terms of unit sizes, unit mixes, etc. Here too the market has the best chance to discover the most useful, productive and life/prosperity-enhancing mix. The imposition of housing standards protect nobody, they only eliminate choices and thus make all of us poorer.Stop all interventions and distortions of the (residential) real state market. (All subsidised goods are oversupplied and thus partially wasted.)
  5. Abolish all forms of social and affordable housing: No more imposition of quota of various types of affordable housing, phase out and privatise all council housing, phase out the housing benefit system (and substitute with monetary support without specific purpose allocation).
  6. Abolish all government subsidies for home ownership like Help to Buy: This distorts real housing preferences and biases against mobility.
  7. Abolish all forms of rent control and one-fits-all regulation of tenancies: Instead allow for free contracting on tenancy terms and let a thousand flowers bloom. Here is a recipe for the creation of the dense, urban fabric that delivers the stimulating urbanity many of us desire and know to be a key condition of further productivity gains within our post-fordist network society.
  8. Privatize all streets, squares, public spaces and parks, possibly whole urban districts

Schumacher also welcomes overseas buyers of second homes in cities such as Miami and London, which he says helps boost the local economy. The media mistakenly demonizes such buyers (as making local housing stock unaffordable,) he said.

According to the Guardian, Schumacher is a former Marxist turned Libertarian.