With a new prime minister, mayor and London borough leaders, this autumn we are presented with a unique opportunity to rethink the kind of city we want to shape. Going into the third cycle since launching in 2020, NLA Expert Panels have been transformational in how we programme content, inﬂuence policy and instigate further discussion on key issues facing London’s built environment.
We’ve now got 15 panels, and after two years of responding to policy consultations, formulating industry surveys, visiting key areas of transformation and sharing invaluable intelligence, they are all working together to shape the New London Agenda: NLA’s multi-year project that will develop a joined-up vision for London to be presented to the next mayoral candidates.
It’s not an easy task we’ve given them, and we still have over a year of work and fruitful conversations, but for now, we will be sharing a round-up written by each of our Expert Panel chairs, summarising strategic areas that they will take forward into the next cycle to lay out the foundations for the agenda — we can’t wait to continue working together towards a new vision for London.
Mark Rowe, Principal, Penoyre & Prasad
The final NLA Expert Healthcare Panel meeting of the year sought to pull together the various strands of discussion over the previous two years into a handful of key policy recommendations. The policy areas discussed can be summarised as follows:
- That the estates of London’s major hospitals would benefit from masterplanning collaboratively with Local Authorities and the GLA on a generational timescale to avoid piecemeal and sometimes incoherent accretion over time. It was commented how the missing role in such a process might be the City or Borough Architect as per some European models.
- The ability of the Mayor to support, lead-by-example or underwrite in relation to the development of NHS primary/community care infrastructure within the city to support the wider health and wellbeing of the population. It was also discussed how similar outcomes might be achieved by NHS Property Services behaving more entrepreneurially, equivalent to the work of LocateEd within the education sphere.
- That, if the move towards retrofit first across the development sector is to be fully embraced within healthcare, then relevant planning policy will need to be stringently enforced without deferment to statements of optimal clinical need. Reciprocally, NHS design guidance will require revision to indicate the type and degrees of derogation which should be entertained in order to make building retention, refurbishment and reuse a viable possibility.