RTPI London was delighted to join New London Architecture, CIOB, RICS, RIBA, Urban Design Group and Planning Futures at RIBA’s splendid headquarters in Portland Place. This was a chance to meet the Mayoral candidates (or representatives thereof) from the main UK parties and discuss their visions for London’s built environment.
All candidates agreed that London’s housing shortage is a major issue. While the proposals for solving it did vary, there was one item of consensus; no-one wants to contemplate Green Belt expansion. This is consistent with James Stevens’s assessment that the subject is off the political agenda. London will be sticking with its existing growth boundaries, for now.
Siân Berry (GRE) stated that she’d never met an architect or planner that she didn’t like. A Green Mayor would directly employ many more planners, surveyors and architects to shape the future of the Capital. Andrew Boff (CON) emphasised the need for a future Mayor to continue Boris Johnson’s legacy. Both Val Shawcross (LAB) and Peter Whittle (UKIP) described London as being at a crossroads. The question is: which route to take? Caroline Pidgeon (LD) emphasised the need for infrastructure to keep up with growth; this is consistent with last month’s transport debate.
The majority of the event was given over to questions from the audience. These followed a succession of themes, ably chaired by the Evening Standard’s Rosamund Unwin. While discussions could have conceivably lasted all evening, the session ended promptly on the dot of 8 and we adjourned for refreshments.
The official RTPI write up can be found here.
Further commentary may be seen at OURCITY.LONDON