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Peter Murray


We’re pleased to say that the Journal is now available to be read online via You should be able to see it below – if not, click here to go to the site

You are, of course, much better off with the traditional printed copy of the Journal, and there are two ways to get your hands on one.

The best way is to become a member of the Society, which you can do by visiting this page. Not only will we send you a copy in the post, but you will also get priority booking and discounted tickets for all of our events.

Or you can buy a copy for just £7.50 via our online shop. Just click here.



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Peter Murray


The Autumn Winter 2017 edition of the Journal of the London Society is dropping on doormats throughout the capital, and is also available to be bought from the Society for just £7.50 (details here).

New members will receive the Journal free – you can join here.

Editor Jessica Cargill Thompson shares the delights of the new edition.

Ten million. One-zero. That’s how many of us Londoners there’ll be by 2030 – just 12 years’ time. According to figures from the GLA and O ce of National Statistics, we currently number 8.9million, and it’s predicted we’ll pass the 9 million mark some time in 2019.

In relation to other world cities, London thinks of itself as a relatively small city: giant in stature but human in its physical scale. We’re not the neverending urban expanses of Toyko/Yokohama (33 million); the skyscraping canyons of New York; the apartment dwellers of other European capitals; or the squeezed masses of Mumbai (density 23.9 people per sq km compared to London’s 5.1), much as we may admire all of those places. We are traditionally low rise and low density, with a surprising amount of green space. We value culture as much as we value commerce, and pride ourselves on being a place of both hi-tech innovation and ancient monuments. The seemingly unstoppable rush towards 10 million understandably induces palpitations.

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Peter Murray


We are looking for stories and contributions for the next issue of the London Society’s Journal.

We also need someone with print production experience to volunteer as a subeditor. This would require carefully fact-checking, editing and styling the copy as it comes in (spread out over end of September and early October).

In particular we will be exploring the theme of:

‘A city for 10 million inhabitants’

We would like to interpret this theme quite broadly and look at the different aspects of London life that are affected by a booming population – not just planning or housing.

We would like to hear about any organisations, thinkers, professionals, community groups etc working on projects – small scale or large – that offer inspiration.

Types of pieces we run:

  • 500 word opinion pieces
  • short case studies of relevant interesting projects by architects, urbanists, artists, academics, community groups,
  • 1,000 word think pieces and reports
  • personal profiles/interviews
  • photography, illustration, graphic data visualisation

Deadlines: Once commissioned, we will need pieces to be written by the end of September in order to have enough time for design & layout.

Sadly we are unable to pay anyone for their contributions, but will happily plug any websites, blogs, recent publications, upcoming events, etc in exchange. And of course you will not only be helping to make the Journal even better, but contributing to informed ongoing debate amongst London Society members and beyond.

If you’d like to contribute, or want to let us know about any projects you think might be worth us covering, do get in touch at

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Peter Murray


The Spring/Summer edition of the Journal of the London Society is now available.

Non-members can get a free copy by joining the Society (details here) or buy a copy here.

This issue marks 50 years since the 1967 Civic Amenities Act created the first official ‘conservation areas’ as a way of acknowledging the overall character of an area, rather than the merits of individual buildings. There are now more than 1,000 conservation areas in London alone, ranging from elegant Georgian squares and Art Deco housing estates, to places valued more for their community than their architecture, such as the Walworth Road.

London certainly has much worth cherishing – physically and culturally – but we cannot preserve the urban in aspic. Cities are living breathing organisms, they must grow, adapt and evolve. So how do we marry the concept of conservation with the need for continual change? Who chooses what stays and what goes, and according to what criteria? How do we use the best of the past and present to create a meaningful future? The Journal therefore both celebrates some of London’s most attractive conservation areas and hard-fought battles with the bulldozer, but interrogates the concept of conservation itself.


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Peter Murray


The latest edition (number 471) of the Journal of the London Society goes to print this week and will be posted out to members within the next fortnight.

If you want to receive your copy, join the Society today. Individual memberships are just £25, students pay just £15 and there are special rates for dual/family memberships and for businesses.

There’s a ‘conservation’ theme to Journal 471, with Peter Murray’s interview with Marcus Binney, founder of SAVE; our guide to eight of the best Conservation Areas; Frank Kelsall reflects on 50 years of the Civic Amenities Act; Tom Coward & Geoff Shearcroft of AOC Architecture explain why historic buildings should be brought back into the community; Emily Gee of Historic England calls for a new heritage strategy; Heather Cheesebrough says that conservation areas are over-zealously policed.

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