Our newly constituted panel is keen to progress work on inclusivity and carbon zero in specialist research/R&D buildings from the previous cycle whilst working towards some new agenda items as directed by the NLA and arrived at through our own debate.
Topics may include:
- Inclusivity that ensures that as districts become established and grow, businesses and residents currently in the area feel the evolution acknowledges and responds to their needs; and that accessibility is suitably addressed, arts and culture development works for them too, and that there are good opportunities for training and upskilling/employment
- Affordable workspace provision that works well, across a range of sectors, possibly delivered from within a range of property types and involving Local Authority planning powers
- Life Sciences development that endeavours to anticipate and respond to what is needed in a more informed and sustainable manner – now including GMP manufacturing and clean room space as well as wet and dry laboratories
- NLA’s Education and Healthcare Programme support, by helping to identify key lines of enquiry, ideas and examples of best practice
- NLA’s New London Agenda support, by helping to identify key topic areas important to innovation districts for the plan and progressing work that enables evidence/case study backed themes to be promoted through it to inform what the built environment sector wants from the next iteration of the London Plan (with priorities for this finalised by September 2022 and vision points set out clearly by September 2023.
We are keen to develop specific research questions, particularly given the leadership roles that some of our panel have in innovation district research programmes working at national/international level – where we are well placed to identify specific areas that it may be particularly helpful for key London stakeholders to understand better. We very much feel that London has a role to play in ensuring that the Golden Triangle of London, Oxford, Cambridge works well as a whole, as a global cluster of excellence in innovation; and that it can contribute positively to the levelling up agenda if it can utilise its assets and its people more fully for the benefit of the country.
Ancillary issues raised by panel members for us to be alert to include data collection and dissemination, re-use of retail space for R&D use, access to spaces that help foster collaboration, ground floor uses of buildings and public realm that help the inclusivity agenda, the benefits that may flow from identifying issues that may threaten vitality of London districts, and the benefits that may flow from delivering a range of uses in a location.