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Peter Murray

 

In association with CityMetric, the New Statesman’s online urbanism magazine, the Society held a panel debate on what the shape of the capital might be in thirty years time, and what we might need to change about current practices in order to accommodate a population that is projected to be 11 million.

Chaired by Jonn Elledge of CityMetric, the panel comprised include Jeremy Skinner of the GLA, Neil Bennett of Farrell’s, Rose Grayston of Shelter and Nicole Badstuber from UCL. Finbar Bradley of Innes Associates reports.

A great deal of concern has cloaked the usually glistening future of London in recent times. Some fear that the wheels of progression may be failing with the addition of a grinding Brexit, and others fear that even if this had no effect on the interminable revolutions of our economy, that the simple mechanics of the City are not designed to allow for further progression.

Jeremy Skinner of the GLA and producer of the report aimed at predicting the needs of London’s infrastructure in 2050 quoted that London’s current infrastructure is a ‘highly fragmented chaos’ delivering a score card of London’s infrastructure of a thoroughly unsatisfactory “not best in class.”

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Peter Murray

 

On 22 March the London Society were fortunate enough to welcome Alan Powers, author of multiple books on modern architecture in Britain, to give us an insight into the developments of architecture in the 1930’s. Finbar Bradley reports.

Alan was eager to point out that with him at the wheel, this journey would not merely be a single path on a chronological venture but would create points which will make people reflect upon their views. He did not disappoint.

Putting the 1930s into context, after the Bank of England abandoned the Gold Standard, the progression toward using materials and goods only of English manufacturer began. There was a mentality that everything was possible and imagery such as William Walcot’s docking zeppelins at the Savoy Hotel in 1950 seemed feasible. Charles Glover’s Kings Cross Airport was another project of idyllic taste, but lacking in the reality of the time.

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Peter Murray

 

The first of our five Saturday morning classes on London planning was given by Duncan Bowie. You can see his slides below along with a report from Finbar Bradley. For more information on the Planning School, click here.

 

Kicking off the London Society’s first in a five part series of Saturday Morning Planning Schools, Duncan Bowie took an enthusiastic group on a tour through 2000 years of London Plans. 

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Peter Murray

 

As part of the Society’s London Icons series, Emily Gee, Historic England’s London Planning Director, looked at the historic context of building tall in London – Finbar Bradley reports:

In recent times the structures that most people would perceive as iconic have tended to be London’s new breed of tall buildings. On Thursday night and firmly with our feet on the ground at Cowcross Street, the London Society heard a dynamic “short history of London” from the 1600’s until the present. Emily Gee of Historic England took people on a journey from the disasters which brought about planning reform, through the backlash of early attempts to create tall buildings and to future possibilities.

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