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Land: the ultimate non renewable resource

Kate Swade
Our Development Manager, Kate Swade, and Dan Gregory have co-authored an essay in Respublica's new collection, Making it Mutual: The ownership revolution that Britain needs.

We say that who owns our land and infrastructure is critically important, and should be on the political agenda far more than it is now. Patterns of ownership are changing, with more private ownership both of land and of infrastructure. We contend that this isn’t a neutral process – it’s fuelled by ideology and economics.

We’re already in a situation where 1% of the people own 70% of the land in the UK. This brilliant graphic from NEF illustrates a similar position regarding property very well.

Our essay – and indeed the whole collection – tries to make the point that the traditional distinction between private and state control or ownership is an artificial one. Community, mutual and social approaches – to both ownership and management of land – can offer creative and entrepreneurial solutions that beat the best of both the state and the private sector.

We finish by saying that we believe we need a more explicit and grown-up debate about who owns what, who is selling what and why, in order to consciously make better use of our national assets.

What do you think?

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