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Trophy architects and the ‘dark matter' of London’s planning system

Listed author(s):
  • Paul Cheshire
  • Gerard Dericks

A quarter of London's skyscrapers are designed by architects who have already won a lifetime achievement award and whose work thus has the imprimatur of 'iconic design'; this compares with just 3% in Chicago. According to research by Paul Cheshire and Gerard Dericks, employing such 'trophy architects' can get a London developer a valuable extra 19 floors on a representative site. Their study shows how in the highly uncertain world created by the UK planning system's decision-making method, it is worth spending a fortune to 'game' the system and get more space when you are successful. They explain the costs to society of these incentives to 'game' the system.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CentrePiece - The Magazine for Economic Performance with number 432.

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Date of creation: Oct 2014
Handle: RePEc:cep:cepcnp:432
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