We started NLA 15 years ago this year.
The day we were to open our doors – 7/7/05 – fifty five people were murdered and hundreds more injured in the worst single terrorist attack on British soil - three bombs in the Undergound, one on a red London bus.
Our celebratory mood turned to shock. What did this mean to our nascent centre? How do you celebrate the city when it becomes a place of danger, where its fundamental mechanisms provide the tools of destruction by the forces of evil?
We took comfort from a city that had survived pestilence, fire and bombs over the centuries. We reshaped what we did and are proud of the role we have played in design and development in the capital in last decade and a half.
But today, as the essential elements of the city – social interaction, exchange and the fundamentals of commerce – are removed from our daily lives, how should we respond now? How do we fulfil our mission: ‘to bring people together to shape a better city’?
We have an unrivalled community of experts within our membership from across the whole spectrum of skills – from the strategic politician to the detailed designer. While we are all concerned about the economic impact on our own organisations, we must not ignore the significance of sharing and collaboration.
Over the coming months we will continue with our key programmes about what is happening in the capital – our tall buildings studies, our research into the changes that have taken place in London since NLA started and how we keep focus on our sustainability targets. Our communications will be digital rather than physical, but we hope equally helpful.
But we will add an extra layer to this work – we will collaborate with our membership to bring the best intelligence to bear on the issues we face in this time of acute crisis.
By working together we can be better informed, more responsive to the changing situation and more able to rebuild our world. We hope you will work with us, will share knowledge and support colleagues and we can together do our bit to repair the damage wrought by this ungodly virus.
Peter Murray. Nick McKeogh