Welcome to the first issue of 2018 from NLQ as newly-crowned IBP Magazine of the Year (non-weekly). Beyond that accolade, about which we’re immensely proud, it promises to be a significant year for the capital. The new London Plan, now issued in draft form for consultation, has underlined mayor Sadiq Khan’s commitment to protecting the Green Belt and drive to get more affordable housing built in the capital, all in a new more ‘concise’ package for Londoners.

And with a completely different political background, that is also a key inspiration for our New Londoner this time, Westminster leader Nickie Aiken. She talks affordable housing, politics, and pedestrianizing Oxford Street in our interview in this issue.

Two other profiles this issue consider perceptions – first, Donald Insall Associates and the often inaccurate vision of the conservationist as the fusty, dusty, beardy consultant putting a spanner in the developmental works. Not so, says the firm celebrating its 60th anniversary this year and its role as a catalytic, positive impetus for projects across the capital. Then there is Grimshaw, which is spreading its wings from its transport expertise into other areas, growing here and abroad under a multi-centred body of expertise after ‘nailing’ its own succession plans.

Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners, meanwhile, which announced that Rogers will be removed from the firm’s name in time, is the architect behind our building review this time – the first building at the International Quarter, Stratford, and one which makes great strides in the wellbeing debate.

We’re proud to announce a new feature – Update – devised to bring Londoners up to speed on large, long-burn projects such as our first example, Battersea Power Station. There’s a Project Preview look at Knight Dragon’s design district on Greenwich Peninsula plus opinion pieces and capital ideas from practice such as Farrells and Allford Hall Monaghan Morris.

And there’s plenty more besides – a look at Jestico + Whiles’ new offices in the Way we Work, a Portfolio display of the Bloomberg building, all the highlights from NLA’s events and conferences, and a special on the London’s Towns series underlining the polycentric city.

And then, of course, there’s the year ahead. We speak to the key players in our viewpoint section and include a Sounding Board discussion on the London Plan’s new, more ‘muscular’ way of looking at the city and setting down the way to get ‘good growth’, going forward.

Enjoy the issue. Let’s hope it’s a Happy New Year.  

David Taylor,

Editor

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