Currently showing blog posts by: Peter Murray, Author at . Go BACK to view all posts.
Peter Murray

Are you interested in books about London, or set in the capital?

There’s a proposal for the London Society to set up a Book Group to discuss books – fiction, non-fiction, history, biography, whatever – that relate to London.

We’d write up the discussions and post them online, and invite comments from people who’ve also read the title, but who weren’t at the meeting. The idea is that we encourage as many people as we can to read the very best books about the capital.

As well as members of the group, we’d need someone to do some organising behind the scenes – letting members know which title is going to be discussed next and arranging meeting times.

You wouldn’t need to be a member of the London Society to take part.

If you’re interested in joining or in helping to run the group, please click on this link we’ll be in touch.

 

Leave a Reply

Peter Murray

 

Issue 104 of Planning in London – the journal of the London Planning & Development Forum – has just been published. You can download a PDF version of the magazine here, or read the online edition below.

 

Leave a Reply

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.

Read More…

Leave a Reply

Peter Murray

 

This year the London Society and its members have enjoyed the Society’s most extensive programme for some years; nearly 60 events attracting close to 2,500 attendees.

One of our major themes for the year was London’s Great Estates, looking at their role in the capital and how their long-term stewardship has shaped the character of some of central London’s best known neighbourhoods. Engaging talks from Grosvenor, Cadogan, the City of London Corporation and Argent, the developer behind the remodelling of King’s Cross, were complemented by walking tours of the areas and privileged access to some distinctive buildings within the estates’ portfolios.

Read More…

Leave a Reply

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.

Read More…

Leave a Reply

Peter Murray

 

New for 2018 is “How We Work” a series of informal evenings that will take members* into various of the capital’s exciting architectural, engineering and design studios. The evening will look at each studio’s past, present and future and one of the principals will share the practice’s vision, and outline their most significant projects.

During the year we hope to visit Allies + Morrison, Alan Baxter, Lifschutz Davison Sandilands and Make (details to be announced shortly), and the first of the events will be with Studio Egret West on 26 February. You can find out more about this and book tickets here.

How We Work” is for London Society members only, so if you would like to come along you will need to join or renew your membership. You can join the Society here – Professional Members can get two tickets for their company, Corporate Supporters can request up to five free tickets for each event.

Leave a Reply

Peter Murray

 

On 5 December, Matt Brown, editor at large of the Londonist and author of Everything You Know About London is Wrong, gave the Christmas talk to the Society members at the offices of Pilbrow & Partners in St John’s Square. Jo East reports.

Founded 14 years ago by Matt and other likeminded enthusiasts for all things London, and described by Frank Skinner as “the thinking person’s guide to London” the Londonist has grown to be an online font of knowledge about both London’s current events, and its history and myths. Over the years this has given Matt privileged access to areas denied to most people and Matt took us on a tour of literally the highs and the lows of his time at the Londonist – roofs and tunnels.

Read More…

Leave a Reply

Peter Murray

 

2017 was a bumper year for The London Society with 2500 people attending some 60 events – and 2018 is shaping up to be even better and bigger!

We’ll be continuing with the busy programme of walks, talks and Saturday Morning Schools, as well as, of course, the Banister Fletcher Lecture but 2018 will also see the Society investigating a number of new themes: Alan Powers, former Chair of the 20th Century Society curates a series of talks on London in the 1930s – when planning was so influenced by the Society’s agenda; Eric Reynolds, famous for creating Camden Market, among others, and regenerating Trinity Buoy Wharf, is putting together a programme onLondon: Global Market looking at key examples like Billlingsgate, Spitalfields, Leadenhall and Borough; GLA planner Colin Wilson is curating a programme around the London Plan, which will be the focus of much attention during the year, entitled Planning for 10 Million Londoners.

We will be continuing our studies of London Great Estates and London Iconsthroughout the year.  There will also be Members Only series – How We Work a series of visits to the capital’s key architectural and planning practices to look at the work they are doing and how it will impact on the London of the future.

Click here to download a copy of the current 2018 Spring Events Programme

Leave a Reply

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.

Read More…

Leave a Reply

Peter Murray

 

Members are the lifeblood of the London Society, helping fund our events, publications and the work we do with the All-Party Parliamentary Group.

More than that, the engaged membership that we have gets involved in the talks and debates we hold, comes on the tours and walks, and contributes to the discussion on the sort of capital city that we want.

If you’re interested in making London a better place in which to live and to work, want to know more about the city’s history and development, enjoy seeing ‘behind the scenes’ at famous buildings and architects’ practices, then you really need to become a member.

And this is the best time at which to join. In the New Year, membership rates increase, so if you join now, you can save up to £10 off.

The spring 2018 events programme is taking shape (you can download the current list here) with booking open to members for several events.

Many of our events sold out in 2017, so if you want to make sure that you don’t miss a talk or tour that you’re really interested in, then becoming a member gives you priority booking as well as discounted tickets.

We have nearly 1,000 individual members now and hope to get this to 1,500 next year. Join today and you’ll be part of a growing society that is educating, informing and entertaining its members. Click here for more information.

Leave a Reply