The impact of global capital and foreign investment on local communities is being felt in major cities across the world. Since the 2012 Olympics was awarded to the British capital, East London has been at the heart of the largest and most all-encompassing top-down urban regeneration strategy in civic history. At the centre of this has been the local government, Newham Council, and their daring proposal: an Arc of Opportunity for developers to transform 1,412 hectares of Newham. This proposal was outlined in a short film, London’s Regeneration Supernova, and shown to foreign developers and businesses at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. While the sweeping changes to East London have been keenly felt by locals, the symbolism and practicalities of these changes – for the local area, and the world alike – are overdue serious investigation. Regeneration Songs is about how places are turned into simple stories for packaged investment opportunities, how people living in those places relate to those stories, and how music and art can render those stories in many different ways. The book will also include a download code to obtain the related musical project, Music for Masterplanning – in which musicians from East London soundtracked London’s Regeneration Supernova – and a 32-page glossy insert detailing the artists involved.
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