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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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Peter Murray

 

For the second year the London Society has run its ‘Planning School’, a linked series of five talks from planning experts on different aspects of the process and investigating just what it is that planners are trying to achieve and the obstacles that they are attempting to overcome.

The first of the 2018 series had Dr David Knight (DK – CM) and Guy Rochez (Senior Project Officer, London Borough of Croydon) speaking. Barry Coidan reports.

We know what we think about the planning laws don’t we? That extension – looks oversized to me – did they seek planning permission? That new block of flats – NIMBY!!

Dr David Knight unpacked our planning laws and in doing so showed what a Pandora’s Box we’d created…and how we can put it back in the box mixing my metaphors.

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Peter Murray

 

After the success of the 2017 series, we are very pleased to announce five further talks in our ‘Planning School’. Book for all five for the price of just four – and non-members who book for the whole series will be given 12 months individual membership of the Society.

To find out more and to book, click here

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 pentup housing demand.

Planning is one of the most visible and potent outworkings 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.

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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

 

We’re very pleased to be able to add a couple of extra speakers to the Planning for the Unknown: London in 2050 panel discussion that the London Society is running in association with CityMetric next week.

  •  Jeremy Skinner, Senior Manager of Growth and Enterprise at the GLA, who led the team that produced the London Infrastructure Plan to 2050
  • Neil Bennett, lead partner at Farrells architect/planning practice for strategic infrastructure and urban design projects
  • Rose Grayston, policy manager at the housing charity Shelter
  • Nicole Badstuber, a doctoral researcher in urban transport governance and policy at UCL and Knowledge Exchange Coordinator at the UCL Transport Institute.

The discussion will be chaired by Jonn Elledge of CityMetric. If you want to know how London might evolve in the next three decades, or if you have opinions you’d like to share, come along to what will be a fascinating debate on our possible futures.

There are some tickets still available here.

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Peter Murray

 

This year’s strand on ‘Planning for 10 Million Londoners’ has a series of talks and debates that look at some of the challenges that face us all over the next decade, as the capital’s population nudges upwards, but what might face us over the horizon?

It can seem almost nonsensical to try to put together a plan for London for 30 years into the future – think of the changes that have taken place since 1988, in technology, transport, demographics, ways of working, leisure activities, retail – but planning decisions that are made now will have an effect on the London of 2050, so what should we be aware of?

We’re planning a joint event with CityMetric, the online urbanism magazine, to examine what the capital might look like midway through the century. Speakers include Jeremy Skinner of the GLA, Neil Bennett of Farrell’s and the discussion will be chaired by Jonn Elledge of CityMetric.

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Peter Murray

 

To mark the release of Professor Richard Sennett’s new publication Building and Dwelling: Ethics for the City, Southwark Cathedral and publisher Penguin Random House are delighted to host a panel discussion looking at how cities are built and how people live in them. The London Society has a limited number of tickets available for members, which can be purchased here.

Chaired by the Revd Canon Giles Goddard, Vicar at St John’s Waterloo the panel features some of London’s leading thinkers on the urban environment, Professor Richard Sennett, Mike Hayes and Noha Nasser, and this should be a fascinating discussion on the future of thriving ‘open’ cities.

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Peter Murray

The last in the Planning School series of lectures – The Future of Planning – was held on 18 November at the Building Centre in Store Street with Zoe Green – Strategic Urban Planner at PriceWaterhouseCooper. Jo East was present.

Zoe Green advises cities across the globe on how to prepare for “4IR” – The Fourth Industrial Revolution that many believe we are entering right now. Promising to tackle broad themes, Zoe did just that taking in all the new technologies from synthetic biology, through 3D printing to the “Internet of things” (machines communicating directly with each other) unpacking these buzzwords as she went. The good news is that by looking at various indicators her recent report believes that London is 59% ready in preparedness to implement these technologies – Only Singapore scores higher although this drops to 42% on a Matrix of Social Readiness.

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Peter Murray

 

The fourth of the Society’s Saturday Morning Planning School talks was on Saturday 11th November 2017 with Rachel Fisher (Head of Infrastructure in the Cities and Local Growth Unit at DCLG) explloring the flip side of local growth – can places become too successful? Drawing on international and UK examples, the talk explored the relationship between planning policy and what happens in reality. Barry Coidan reports.

On Saturday we were treated to Rachel Fisher’s enlivening personal view on how growth happens on the ground in towns and cities here and around the world.

Rachel began with the general and took us down to the particular – Harlow, a planned town in Essex, and Haringey, a not so planned borough of London. On the way we visited New York, Bologna and Bilbao.

In general terms the conditions for growth (and prosperity) are: good jobs, homes (affordable and market priced) and connectivity – be that broadband or transport links. We’re all urban now. The 21st century is the century of cities and London takes its place as a global city – with a huge population vying for limited space. Imagine the functions of New York, Washington and Los Angeles in one place – that’s London. Its size, economy and status means it has a disproportionate impact on the rest of the UK. Scaling a map based on population, the UK looks grotesquely distorted – with London bloating out much of England south of the Wash.

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