Public spaces in ten pilot areas of the capital have been earmarked for design improvements by the Greater London Authority under Mayor Ken Livingstone’s ‘Making Space for Londoners’ initiative.
Funds are available for the projects from the London Development Agency and Transport for London. Finance from central Government is also being sought.
The boroughs and community groups driving schemes at local level will be advised on design procurement and briefing issues by the GLA’s Architecture and Urbanism Unit, headed up by architect Lord Rogers.
Architecture and Urbanism Unit manager Richard Brown says, ‘The aim is to push up the quality of design. We’ll be working alongside [local partners] to help them brief designers and review what comes through.’
Twenty urban design and architecture practices are on the GLA’s ‘select list’, says Brown. ‘But we keep that under review,’ he adds.
Among the ten pilot projects are Brixton Central Square, Exhibition Road in South Kensington and Lower Marsh near Waterloo Station.
John Sorrell is going ahead with the mooted London Design Festival (DW 4 April). A pilot will be launched in 2003, with the full-blown event taking place in 2004.