Peter Murray

 

The October-December 2018 issue of Planning in London magazine has just been published. Contributors include Mariead Carroll, Riëtte Oosthuizen, Andrew Rogers, Paul Smith, Simon Bath, Julia Park, Ben Taylor, Louise Brooke-Smith and Paul Finch (among others).

You can read the full edition online below or download a PDF here.

 

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Peter Murray

 

A large and knowledgeable audience were treated to a “Celebration” of street furniture when the Society welcomed back Matt Brown of the essential Londonist website. Jo East reports.

From phone boxes to stink pipes Matt “set out his stall” that this could only be a canter through the various street furniture that gave such interest to this great city of ours.

Beginning with phone boxes Matt briefly outlined the history of the K Series and taught us to identify our K2s (bigger with a regular lattice of panes) from our K6s. (Smaller and with glass recalling old celluloid film – Big frame in the middle and smaller runners down the side) and then talked about how they had been repurposed throughout the city as mobile tech takes over. From a flower kiosk in Russell Square to a book exchange in Lewisham inventive uses have been found for these structures that, being listed, often have to grace our streets long passed the time of their original purpose. Diverting briefly into the sociological significance of tart cards – A 30 year collection now held by the Wellcome Trust to reflect our changing taste, tech and morés – Matt then moved on to post boxes: We saw a map of all the relatively rare Edward VIII boxes. Outer London reigning supreme reflecting the direction of development at that time. As before the more interesting uses to which various redundant boxes had been put were shown. A city farm chicken hutch surely being the “coop” de theatre.

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Peter Murray

 

The third of this year’s Planning School looked at the always relevant subject of housing – if we need to house more people, surely the city needs to become more dense and therefore taller? Joanna Day listened to Claire Bennie and Lorraine Hughes.

There is, according to Claire Bennie, a lot of ‘fake news’ about density. It is a slippery concept that is hard to relate to on a human level. How many of us know what density we live at? Not many can define their own experience of home and environment in terms of a ‘per hectare’ measurement – the chosen unit used when we talk about density. And this unit neglects grain. Are we talking about my flat, my estate, my borough, my city or country? Each will give a different figure. And yet, the whole issue is about people, and this was Claire Bennie’s central point.

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Peter Murray

 

This year’s RTPI London summit is on 28 November at TMRW in Croydon, and it focuses on how planners in London can deliver good growth in the suburbs.

The Summit is open to all (tickets are available here) and its objectives are:

  • To explore the big issues affecting the London planning community in 2018 with a focus on outer London.
  • To share current best practice and precedents
  • To provide updates on live issues including the London Plan
  • To provide a networking opportunity for London town planners drawn from public, private and third sectors.

The line up so far is pretty impressive and includes: James Murray, Deputy Mayor, GLA | Stewart Murray, LB Waltham Forest | Jo Negrini, LB Croydon | Heather Cheesbrough, LB Croydon| Lisa Taylor, Future of London | Ollie Spragley, the Collective | Chloe Phelps, Brick by Brick | Kevin Logan, Maccreanor Lavington | Paul Hunter, The Smith Institute | Plus more to be confirmed.

Tickets for the full day can be found here.

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Peter Murray

 

The final talk in this year’s Planning School was given by Euan Mills (Future Cities) and Professor Mark Brearley (London Metropolitan University). Barry Coidan reports.

Euan Mills is the Urban Planning and Design lead in charge of Future Cities Catapult’s Future of Planning Programme. Euan talked quickly: he had to he had a lot to get in a very short space of time. Technology is changing us, it’s changing how we live, work and interact. It’s changing businesses and how we do business. Where we do business, where we live is more and more in cities. But our cities are analogue, tied down with analogue planning systems. The city environment is changing rapidly driven by digitalisation and big data, but looking at the planning system you’d think the last 20 years hadn’t happened.

Not so long ago the most valuable companies by share capital were those involved in energy, metal bashing and heavy industry. Now those companies have surrendered their place to the data companies. The companies that have grown up in the last 20 years – Google, Facebook, Amazon etc – as we enter the fourth industrial revolution.

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