The Knight's Move: Anna Minton

Wednesday 20 April 2011, 8 pm
Locatie: Hogewal 1-9, The Hague
Language: English
Anna Minton wrote about her visit to The Hague on her blog

More surveillance cameras in public space and more police on the streets, does this really mean less crime, or does it only create a feeling of safety? In her research the British journalist Anna Minton argues that an increasingly controlled environment undermines our personal and collective responsibility, dilutes trust and increases fear and unhappiness. Over the past decade the number of gated communities in Great Britain has been growing at a steady pace, but even when the actual levels of crime are reduced, the fear of crime is up.

In her book ‘Ground Control. Fear and happiness in the twenty-first century city' (Penguin Books, 2008) Anna Minton sets out on a journey around Britain to answer the questions, how did this happen and what could we do about it? The book is a frank and excoriating look at the effect that property and planning have on our lives - often in unexpected ways. More new spaces are being created in British towns than at any time since the Second World War. But they're all privately owned and privately controlled, and they are changing not only the very fabric of our cities, but our understanding of public space, of citizenship, of fear and of trust. Anna Minton proposes an alternative approach: "One that celebrates a socially cohesive and shared public space that will reinvigorate our civic engagement." Many modern European cities have a more open and free public life and street culture, with far less emphasis on private security and CCTV, yet crime and fear of crime is also much lower.

Anna Minton (1969, London) is the author of the The Joseph Rowntree Foundation's 'Viewpoint on fear and distrust'. She also writes about architecture and urban planning for a.o. the Financial Times and The Guardian. She is the winner of five British awards in journalism.

‘The Knight's Move' is a series of lectures by eminent international speakers who stand out by their unusual, enlightening and inspirational visions concerning the city, urbanity, the public domain, and community. Just as the knight moves in an atypical and unusual way across the chessboard, Stroom Den Haag likewise wants to cut across all disciplines and thus stimulate rethinking the city.

Media partner of this series of lectures is: De Groene Amsterdammer

The Knight's Move is made possible by the Netherlands Architecture Fund.

Archive 'The Knight's Move' 2009-present

Karl Valentin as Schwerer Reiter
photo: copyright Schloss Wahn
Media partner The Knight's Move