City spaces access eyed

The London Assembly planning and housing committee is reviewing how public space is managed in the capital.

The mayor has voiced concerns on the growing trend to private management of publicly accessible space, particularly in commercial developments where areas are locked in the evening or only open to residents.

The committee will assess the merits of different management models for public space and consider whether policies should be tightened to give more consideration to access. A full report will be published in the spring.

"Public space should be exactly what the name suggests - open to everybody," said committee chair Nicky Gavron. "The London Plan and various national policies recognise the importance of public space. However, they tend to focus on the quality of the physical design, while access is dealt with in only vague terms."

A video interview with Gavron, who will head the investigation, can be viewed at www.youtube.com/PlanningMag


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