By Amanda Clack, head of strategic consulting, CBRE
It is great that the mayor has created a strategic plan for London - we need to have a clear vision for London as it breaks through the mega city barrier (10 million).
The plan has already caused quite a mixed reaction with some welcoming it, particularly the housing delivery aspect, but others more sceptical in terms of the implications for densification and high rise. I am sure I am not the only one heartened to see the lessons from Grenfell starting to emerge, particularly the requirement for developments to achieve the “highest standards” of fire safety.
It is also good to see the urban agenda emphasised throughout via a focus on building communities, optimising land use, healthy living and increasing resilience. But of course the devil is in the detail. It is important we value the public realm and green space so that placemaking results in urban spaces that are truly people and culturally centric. Understanding the correlation between transport and infrastructure and city living is also key.
While Increasing the target build to 65,000 homes a year, with half being affordable, is a move in the right direction, I worry about the ability to deliver this given the current skills crisis in construction and the construction sector deal.
But we must step up to the challenge.London is a great city and it is important the mayor’s plan ensures it remains a place where people and businesses come together in a world-class city economy.