In 2017, NLA's research London: Design Capital
uncovered the global reach of London’s architectural and construction industries, illustrating the international export of the capital’s architectural design, engineering, construction, placemaking and consultancy expertise. The research examined what needs to happen in order to ensure its future resilience and put forward a set of recommendations that the city must adhere to in order to retain its role as a creative and construction skills hub.
NLA’s 2017 recommendations, following the UK’s vote to leave the EU, included:
- Continue to attract and retain access to talent
- Recognise and promote London’s built environment expertise to the export market
- Make London an attractive and affordable place to live and work in the long term
- Create and reinforce links with other cities and provide a better voice for the profession
The industry survey which underpinned this research illuminated key concerns, the most critical being access to skills with 37 per cent of businesses estimating that half of their workforce are European. With support from GLA Economics, the research also highlighted the value of London’s architecture sector alone—£1.7 billion of value is produced in architectural services, 38 per cent larger than any other creative industry in London.
Four years on, six months from the UK’s departure from the EU and over a year into the pandemic, we revisit this research and survey to understand London’s position on the global stage now. How have these recommendations informed our response to Brexit and the pandemic? How have recent factors impacted on London’s ability to export skills and services internationally? What do we need from city and national leadership to ensure our position as a global design hub?
To support this research NLA is inviting submissions of international projects, masterplans and strategies, delivered by London-based teams around the world, in order to illustrate the global reach of London’s built environment businesses.
From masterplans to individual projects, either built or in design, the showcase will celebrate the capital’s exceptional design, engineering, urban planning and consultancy skills; highlight the new skills and technologies being developed for global markets; and examine the value and future for London’s built environment industries in a post-Brexit world.
We are looking for international projects that have come to fruition since 2016, when we voted to leave the EU and when the first edition of London: Design Capital was published. Therefore, built projects should have reached practical completion within the last four years or currently be in design, planning or construction.
Selected submissions will be illustrated as part of the Project Showcase in the digital publication launching in July 2021.