(January 2010) Abstract

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This study aims to understand socio-demographic complexity stemming from temporary immigration under the condition of globalization and to explore the responses of local governments to the challenges in planning for housing created by the ebbs and flows of temporary immigrants in London. This aim breaks down into the following questions: Why is international (temporary) migration such a critical element in producing ‘global cities’ and their socio-demographic features challenges? What challenges have been faced in planning for housing in relation to the characteristics and features of temporary migration? How has the state (Central/Regional/Local) in Britain responded to the challenges created by an increase in (temporary) immigrants in terms of how it plans for housing provision? And what are the limitations and barriers existing for local government to respond to the challenges under the present planning system and policy (for housing)?

These questions can be addressed in a programme of research underpinned with four objectives. Firstly, this study explores the causes of an increase in the number of temporary immigrants in the recent trends of international migration and the characteristics of temporary immigrants. Features of globalization have all lead to massive increase in international migration moving into developed countries and even few cities being labelled ‘global city’, ‘world city’ and ‘gateway city’.

Secondly, this study identifies challenges in planning for housing created by the features of temporary immigrants, which is uncertainty, diversity, and social cohesion due to their uncertain periods, diverse characteristics, and residence status. Shifts of population and socio-demographic features have been an essential factor in planning (for housing), and population projection has been conducted on a trend-based system in England.

Thirdly, the study looks at the nature of planning and housing policies to cope with the challenges in England and London. Local government, which is directly affected by the global phenomenon (an increase in temporary immigrants), are required rethinking the past planning approach and responding to the challenges. London boroughs have been faced the challenges in planning for housing to handle the pressure on adequate housing supply and to meet the different requirements of diverse people in the fluid situation. Thus, this focuses on national planning system, England and London planning policy for housing to examine whether these have leaded local authorities to deal with the challenges and provide basis for the changes in planning for housing in practice.

Lastly, this study will examine the responses of London boroughs to the fluidity in the existing situation with housing pressure and the barriers of the boroughs in responding to the situation. For exploring this, case study in 2-3 London boroughs based on the planning and housing policy analysis and immigration data will be conducted with semi-structure interview.