GLA creates a unit for design and architecture

A new architecture and urban design unit is being set up by the Greater London Authority to boost urban design, architecture and sustainable development across the capital.

Called Design for London, the unit will have a strong architectural push and broad design remit. It will review major development schemes and lead the urban design input in preparing Opportunity Area Planning Frameworks for London’s Thames Gateway development.

The unit merges the GLA’s Architecture and Urbanism Unit with the London Development Agency’s design team and the urban design staff from Transport for London to create ‘a greater synergy’ across the group. The unit will be based at the London Development Agency’s new headquarters in Southwark.

The hunt is on to recruit a design director to lead the centre. The director will be responsible for overseeing the design-led initiatives, collaborating with the Olympic Delivery Authority and other bodies to implement planning, architecture and urban design policies. An appointment is expected in September.

A non-executive group, the Design for London Advisory Group, chaired by Lord Rogers, is being established to support the unit. Design Council chief executive David Kester (pictured) says he welcomes the launch.

The initiative comes as the Design Council is pushing its own recommendations for design through the Cox Review steering committee.

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