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Planning, place-making and property markets in inner-London: the active management of clusters of ownership

Canelas, PMP; (2017) Planning, place-making and property markets in inner-London: the active management of clusters of ownership. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

In inner London many real estate companies own and actively manage clusters of ownership—spatially concentrated property portfolios. The literature has framed this feature of the London property market as the revival of the estate model of development. That is, on the one hand, it is argued that the well-known London’s Old estates are evolving from handsoff family businesses into professionally actively managed portfolios. On the other hand, it is argued that there are emerging clusters of ownership similarly actively managed. However, little is known yet about why property owners choose to cluster their portfolios, challenging risk diversification theories, what their active management comprises and in what institutional context they operate. Using an institutional account, this research examines clusters of ownership exploring their investment and management strategies and how the institutional environment affects these strategies. Methodologically, this research follows a multiple case study design and combines quantitative and qualitative methods, with predominantly qualitative methods. Quantitative data sources include the annual reports of property companies, which were analysed using descriptive statistics. Qualitative methods include semi-structured interviews with cluster owners and other stakeholders, which were analysed using content analysis. Research findings suggest that property owners derive a threefold advantage from clustering and actively managing their property portfolio. First, they gain an edge over the market including new acquisitions by their detailed local knowledge and concentrated ownerships. Second, they deploy an instrumentalised form of place-making in their neighbourhood by curating the mix of uses and tenant mix, their placement, and the space in-between the buildings. Third, they can occupy some of the empty governance space left by a budget-strapped planning system. These private interest-led forceful practices, coupled with a receding planning system, present new challenges to urban governance power dynamics.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Planning, place-making and property markets in inner-London: the active management of clusters of ownership
Language: English
Keywords: London estates, clusters of ownership, place-making, monopoly powers, embedded developer/investor
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > The Bartlett School of Planning
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1546169
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