Latest posts

Germany

Vorsprung durch Technik – learning from German planning

If Britain cannot shift the balance towards more local incentives and decision-making in planning, then good and affordable housing will remain something that the British will only be able to see on TV – when reporting from Germany, says Oliver Hartwich [...]

Lehren aus Großbritannien: Warum die CDU eine Partei ohne Zukunft ist

David Camerons Wiederbelebung der Torys kann Angela Merkels Christdemokraten daher nur ihre eigene Orientierungs- und Haltlosigkeit vor Augen führen. Eine mit den Torys gut vergleichbare Partei gibt es in Deutschland nämlich schon, doch das ist nicht die CDU, sondern die FDP. Wenn sich daher eine deutsche Partei von Camerons Aufstieg ermutigt fühlen dürfte, so sind es die Freidemokraten. Aber sollte die FDP die Partei eines modernen, liberal-konservativen Bürgertums werden, wozu bräuchte es dann eigentlich noch die Christdemokraten? [...]

Rising house prices: Nothing to boast about

We believe that implementing both reforms – of the planning system and of local government finance – would make the supply of housing more flexible and deliver the kind of well-designed, spacious, affordable housing in green cities which the citizens of Germany or Switzerland take for granted. We hope that it is not too late to change a system that, to date, has nothing better to boast about than ever-rising house prices. [...]

Airy claims for natural energy

In truth, Germany's wind-energy promotion has not only been economically damaging, even the ecological gains are a chimera. If wind really is the energy of the future it must prove itself in the market without subsidies. And this has yet to happen. Decisions are being made on the basis of artificial models with hidden costs for taxpayers and consumers. [...]

Planning for better and cheaper homes

Clearly, there is something rotten in the state of UK housing. The rest of the developed world enjoys living in modern, spacious and affordable accommodation. Meanwhile the British are living in houses in which single-glazing windows moving against each other can hardly be cleaned and hot and cold water runs from two separate taps – a caricature of British housing published recently in Germany’s leading quality daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. [...]

Bigger Better Faster More – Why some countries plan better than others

Following the success of Unaffordable Housing – Fables and Myths, which exposed the failings of Britain’s centrally planned system of development, Alan W. Evans and Oliver Marc Hartwich went on a journey in search of alternatives. Interviewing planners, politicians, real estate agents and academics in four countries – Germany, Switzerland, Ireland and Australia – they uncovered how other countries succeed, and sometimes fail, to give people the housing they want. [...]