The one thing we can be certain of in 2017 is that uncertainty will continue as Article 50 is triggered and negotiations with Brussels begin in earnest.
As a result we are galvanised to increase the level of international discourse we carry on at NLA - next year we will be focusing on London’s role as a creative and construction skills hub, exchanging ideas with key cities in Europe and around the world. Through our links with a wider city network, with other similar centres in Europe and further afield, we will support the Mayor’s campaign that London is Open.
It is just over 12 months since we organised a charrette with Arup on the new London Plan. This set us in good stead for the debates that surrounded the Mayoral elections in May and for the consultation process now being carried out by Sadiq Khan. This will intensify next year starting with the Big Debate on January 30 in front of an invited audience of 1,000 people.
In 2009, soon after Boris Johnson was elected Mayor we organised an exhibition on London’s Towns, looking at the plight of many of the outer London conurbations. During the past year we have discussed the impact of new infrastructure, of the Green Belt, of the changes in retail habits and of underinvestment on outer London. This will be consolidated next year with a close look at the future of suburban areas their conurbations.
Sadiq Kahn has had a good start to his mayoralty, his Deputy Mayors for housing, planning and transport have been making the right noises. The £3.15bn the GLA for affordable housing is the largest yet for any London mayor; affordable worskpace, highlighted in our WRK/LDN studies, is high on Jules Pipes’ agenda while Val Shawcross intends to spend more than Boris on greener travel with record investment in cycling infrastructure. Next year the Mayor is going to have to start delivering and we will follow his progress with interest.
We look forward to working with the GLA, the boroughs and all our members to shape a better city in a time when we know so little about future policies that will have a major impact on London’s economy and its people. As we learn more about the road map of Brexit we will stay at the heart of the debate to help understand the impact of changes to the lives of Londoners, to its built fabric and to the activities and livelihood of the design, planning, development and construction sectors.
We wish you all a happy and prosperous 2017, and look forward to seeing you in the New Year!
Click here to see more details on how our 2017 programme is shaping up.