Now that the Olympics’ magic dust has settled, London faces the challenge of maintaining the momentum. And to do that it must seek to capitalise on the eastward shift and on the now popularly held belief that good masterplanning, strong political will and fervent public support can stimulate widespread change.
For Aecom and its chief executive of planning, design, and development Jason Prior, the trick is also to take on the lessons learned from the 2012 Games to the other side of the world and a different set of propositions for the 2016 Rio Games. We profile Prior this time in our ‘Learning from the Olympics’ feature, along with a look at how the greener elements can be taken forward through a UK Green Building Council-penned piece. Closer to home, we review The Crystal – the first built legacy of London’s post- Games eastward shift, and a testament to what can happen in double-quick time with a fair wind behind a project. There is a preview of what London needs to do to lift its post-Games roads capacity and quality, via an interview with the GLA’s Isabel Dedring, leading a charge for better streets in the capital. And this issue also includes a look at Brookfield and its director Martin Jepson, buoyed by the capture of Hammerson’s London offices portfolio, along with a profile of the Crown Estate’s Alison Nimmo, another key figure in both the Olympic story and central London’s revitalisation, now focused on the St James’s area. All London legacy, all seemingly in good hands. Elsewhere we continue our series of Opportunity Area coverage, with articles on Southwark, Hackney, Croydon and White City and Shepherd’s Bush, and sector briefings on issues ranging from High Speed Rail to hotel capacity after the Olympics, to UNESCO’s involvement in London’s protected views debate. But all of this is set against perhaps the biggest ongoing debate facing London and its continued competitiveness: airports. The subject figures as part of our Sounding Board coverage this time, and also in our question-and-answer session with Daniel Moylan. He, above everything else, signifies the importance with which Mayor Boris Johnson attaches to the aviation issue for London’s future, having been plucked out of his Legacy job after just six months to front the charge for new, or extra, capacity for the capital. Perhaps that good masterplanning, strong political will and fervent public support can be dusted off again and put to good use. It needs a gold medal performance. Enjoy the issue.
David Taylor, Editor