Saturday, April 09, 2016

Housing and live music: uneasy bedfellows?

Plenty of people are currently looking admiringly/enviously at Canada as a politically enlightened nation under the premiership of Justin Trudeau and his Liberal party. Perhaps, Shain Shapiro ventures, we should also be looking at Canada for a solution to the ongoing decimation of the UK's stock of live music venues.

Arguing that the principal threat is related to the priority given to housing above all else (both the construction of new homes and the conversion of existing buildings into residences), Shapiro identifies a solution that involves meeting housing and cultural needs at the same time. He's not so naive as to imagine this wouldn't be potentially problematic - "modern noise attenuation technologies and careful people flow and management strategies" would need to be in place, and it probably wouldn't work in "large-scale, privately owned developments" - but it's nevertheless refreshing to hear a bit of optimism amid the gloom.

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