Peter Murray

Saturday, 29 September, 11:30 – 12:30

Mark Brearley 
and Euan Mills ask - What are London's strategic planning objectives? Why does the mayor get involved with individual planning applications?  Why should we get involved in strategic policy? Who will drive future planning practice?

The planning system is a complex world of jargon-filled regulations, inscrutable maps and emotionally charged meetings. It is inhabited by an unseemly mixture of politicians, developers and consultants, with ordinary local people often bearing the brunt of their deals in the high streets and neighbourhood roads where we live. It is often blamed for blighting our beloved places with ugly buildings, and yet is similarly accused of holding back the development we need to meet pent-up housing demand.

Planning is one of the most visible and potent out-workings of our democracy. It is the forum that safeguards by law our rights as citizens to influence the places we live and work in the city.

How then do we engage with the planning system? Why did some parts of London end up the way they did? What (or who) are the main forces at work in shaping urban form? How can we value the past while thinking about London's future? The Saturday Planning School will be a forum for discussing these issues in the midst of a rapidly changing London. As the city sees unprecedented changes in infrastructure provision, physical growth and demographic change, what does a well-functioning planning system look like?

Mark Brearley
is Professor of Urbanism at The Cass at Aldgate (London Metropolitan University) where he leads the Cass Cities initiative. He is an advisor to the governments of Brussels and Flanders on development that welcomes diverse enterprise, and is currently Ateliermeester for the programme Atelier Brussels, The Productive Metropolis. Until 2013 he worked for the Mayor of London as Head of Design for London at the Greater London Authority. He is also proprietor of long established London tray and trolley manufacturer Kaymet, and is spokesman for business association Vital OKR, which he helped to establish. 


Euan Mills is the Urban Futures Lead at the Future Cities Catapult. He has 16 years' experience working in the built environment industry, including 6 years providing design advice to the Mayor of London and his planning team, contributing towards a number of key planning policy and research documents and negotiating major development proposals on behalf of the Mayor. Prior to this he worked as an urban designer at Urban Initiatives, developing masterplans and regeneration strategies for public and private sector clients and set up the Chatsworth Road Neighbourhood Forum and Traders and Residents Association. He is visiting lecturer at a number of universities and has written a number of articles on the impact of new technology on cities.

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