On 18th October 2016 Julia Park wrote:

What should the London Plan say about design?

'What should the next London Plan say about Design?’ This was the title of an early evening seminar hosted by Urban Design London (UDL) at Palestra last week. Nothing difficult then!

The free event was aimed at architects but the audience also included plenty of clients, planners, consultants and urban designers. The GLA kicked off and are clearly feeling their way with the new Mayoral team. The good news is that it will be a new Plan (the current one has been eeked out with four revisions since 2011, see current version here) – the bad news is that we won’t get it until 2020 – ironically, just in time for the next Mayoral election!

After an interesting presentation by Matthew Carmona, Professor of Planning and Urban Design at UCL, four architects had five minutes each to set out what they would do. A wide range of opinions but some common ground, too. Instead of the current 430 pages of well-meaning but generic policy statements that could apply anywhere, we need something more ambitious, more meaningful, much shorter and, above all, something that really speaks about London.