Assemble and Granby Four Streets community land trust offer a better model for living | Letter

Letter: Such creative leadership as the Turner prize winner offers can help co-create beautiful, convivial, affordable homes and places to live, not just boxes

It’s great that “non-artists” Assemble won the Turner prize not just by “ignoring the art market” but also by tackling urban dereliction in Toxteth, Liverpool, with good design (Report, 7 December). The Turner Prize judges rightly praised Assemble’s “ground-up approach to regeneration, city planning and development in opposition to corporate gentrification”. However, it was local residents, including those running Granby Four Streets community land trust, who opposed the demolition of the area.

Community land trusts are set up by communities as an alternative to both government and market failure – there are 175 founded since 2004. And John Ruskin, the art historian who celebrated Turner’s work, also pioneered land trusteeship and his protege Octavia Hill set up Marylebone Housing Association as well as the National Trust.

So Assemble and Granby Four Streets CLT are indeed an inspiring “alternative model of how society can work”, for example, to push back a crazy housing market designed by government to favour the rich. Such creative leadership as Assemble offers can help co-create beautiful, convivial, affordable homes and places to live, not just boxes. And as Ruskin wrote, “there is no wealth but life”.
Martin Large
Stroud Common Wealth

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