Ten years ago, London didn’t know it would be getting an Olympics or the hugely transformational infrastructure and developments that were to follow, kickstarting a shift east for the capital. It also didn’t quite yet have an NLA, which has charted that rise and more as it has become the go-to place for discussion on London and the way it is changing, as well as the way it perhaps should.
This issue of NLQ includes a look back over that decade with an interview with NLA’s founders, just as their latest exhibition on Public London casts its eye back over the best, most transformative public-realm projects and forward to what could be done to improve this area more.
In our Viewpoint section we ask some of built environment’s great and good to project forward over the next ten years, and what the big issues facing the capital will be, while Pat Brown, our Profile this time, will likely be as involved as anyone in a number of them. Another highly connected and powerful woman, Pam Alexander, is our New Londoner this issue, describing the kind of step change that is in store for New Covent Garden Market, while to the east our Project Preview, Silvertown Quays, demonstrates another project which aims to marry placemaking and regenerational principles with new commerce and residential. There is plenty more besides: our Building Review looks at a new piece of Fitzrovia – Fitzroy Place – being developed by Exemplar and Aviva, while our Top of their Game feature concentrates on one of the scheme’s architects, Sheppard Robson, whose own journey over the last decade has been transformative. And finally there is our Briefing Notes section, with subjects ranging from area focuses on Tottenham to housing, green belt to planning, Crossrail to commercial retrofit.
The past ten years have seen London’s unprecedented rise in population and also in the way in which its world city status has been rubber-stamped. The next ten suggest that it will be about dealing with those extra people both in terms of where we live and how we get around, the capital’s place in the national and international picture – and public realm as a liveability safety valve.
Enjoy the issue.
David Taylor, Editor