Comment: new homes’ gyms and cinemas should be open to the public if we’re to keep cities alive

Pubs, public toilets, and playgrounds are all important. These are all essential elements of urban life, but they are often at risk of being closed or managed decline. As places to spend time and not spend money disappear, fast food outlets and chain coffee shops often serve as community centres and public conveniences. The 2021 British Pavilion will be making its way from Venice Architecture Biennale this week to London’s Building Centre. The Garden of Privatised Delights is an exhibition that sees architects redesign public spaces, from garden squares to high-streets, to make them more accessible to wider communities. There are seating, tables, and trellises to encourage people to interact, grow plants, or even cook there. To-i-Let is another installation that asks how toilets can be made public in private institutions like the Building Centre. This would improve access to under-used, but well-maintained facilities. This trend started long before the pandemic. However, there has been an increase in the number of residents-only restaurants, spas, and podcasting available to them. Comment: Millennials are buying fewer houses — we wouldn’t care if they had better options. Comment: The Government’s levelling-up agenda must not make London’s housing crisis worse. I am a full-fledged member of the fancy gym brigade, but the vision of a Ballardian future in which the wealthy don’t need to play basketball or bowling is too is not even to go to their buildings. The Chelsea Barracks is the most expensive house in London. However, the Chelsea Barracks grounds are available to the public.