London mayor to launch placement programme for 'talented planners' in October

London mayor Sadiq Khan is to launch a new social enterprise in October to place 'talented designers and planners' in local authorities as part of his new 'Good Growth by Design' programme, unveiled yesterday.

London mayor Sadiq Khan
London mayor Sadiq Khan

Khan launched the programme at an event at the London School of Economics last night.

A statement from the mayor’s office said that the programme would "enhance the design of buildings and neighbourhoods for all Londoners".

It added that the initiative would also leave "a legacy of world-class buildings, outstanding public realm and large-scale regeneration for Londoners of the future".

Speaking at the event, Khan said that the new London Plan would "have good growth as its guiding principle".

"[The new London Plan] will set a more balanced approach with every area of London playing its part and every community able to share in the fruits of development. It will encourage mixed-use development in well-connected places.

"It will support high densities in the right areas but not at any cost and it will take a more discerning approach to tall buildings".

Khan said he was "not against new tall buildings in London", but add that "every design must be judged on its merits".

"Any proposed scheme that dramatically changes that skyline should expect the highest scrutiny and adhere to the most exacting standards: the way it looks, its impact on surrounding communities and its safety measures… So I'll always consider every proposal on merit – with an open mind – but I'm afraid that while I am mayor the answer on tall buildings won't always be 'yes’", he said.

To support the Good Growth by Design initiative the mayor announced that 50 "Design Advocates" will work with City Hall and councils on the programme.

These include architects Sir David Adjaye OBE and Sadie Morgan, as well as Tibbalds director Hilary Satchwell.

The mayor said that the Good Growth by Design programme will:

  • Include the launch of a new social enterprise - Public Practice - "that will place talented designers and planners in local authorities for up to a year, plugging the skills gap and creating a sense of common endeavour in enhancing London’s built environment".
  • Set and apply "ambitious design standards" backed up by "rigorous design reviews".
  • Do "much more to tackle the under-representation of women and people from minority groups in the built environment professions".

A spokeswoman for the mayor’s office said that Public Practice would formally launch in October when local authorities will sign up to the programme. She added that a process of recruitment will follow that, with the first cohort being placed in April 2018.

A pilot scheme which was launched in 2015.

The full list of mayor’s Design Advocates is:

Sir David Adjaye OBE
Hiro Aso
Joanna Averley
Rachel Bagenal
Clara Bagenal George
Claire Bennie
Dinah Bornat
Andy von Bradsky
Alison Brooks
Adam Brown
Peter Coleman
Russell Curtis
John Dales
Irene Djao-Rakitine
Alex Ely
Liza Fior
Kathryn Firth
Daisy Froud
Alice Fung
Roger Hawkins
Wayne Hemingway MBE
Dan Hill
Tom Holbrook
Rory Hyde
Indy Johar
Dipa Joshi
Paul Karakusevic
Adam Khan
Lynn Kinnear
Vincent Lacovara
Richard Lavington
Christopher Lee
Julian Lewis
Holly Lewis
Laura Mazzeo
Sadie Morgan
Peter Murray
Lucy Musgrave
Fabienne Nicholas
David Ogunmuyiwa
Elsie Owusu OBE
Julia Park
Sowmya Parthasarathy
Manisha Patel
Sunand Prasad
Monica von Schmalensee
Fiona Scott
Neil Smith
Maria Smith
Paloma Strelitz
David West
Hilary Satchwell


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