The London Society: Green Belt a ‘current affectation’?

The London Society, a local body, has launched a ‘White Paper’ exploring future growth of London through reviewing the evolution of its green belt.

London Society writes:
On 8th December 2014 the London Society launched its White Paper “Green Sprawl: Our Current Affection for a Preservation Myth?” at an event kindly hosted at the headquarters of Alan Baxter Associates. Authored by Jonathan Manns of Colliers International, incorporating research by students of the Royal College of Art, the Paper seeks to open and stimulate debate about future growth in the capital through a review of its evolution and current context.

Speaking at the event Jonathan Manns said: “London faces significant challenges including the requirement for 1,000,000 new homes by 2030 but we’ve learned a lot over the past century about how to plan. Delivering the right development in the right place at the right time means focussing not only on new homes but the jobs, schools, hospitals, open space and transport infrastructure needed to support them. Decisions are already being made on HS2, Crossrail and airport expansion in a separate context and we should instead be thinking more closely about how these relate to the city and its green belt.”

He continued, “This means asking ourselves how best to meet the challenges faced today in an holistic and strategic manner. Would we devise the current green belt if we started again today and do we actually need the green belt in certain places? It emerged as an idea that flexibly evolved and adapted to respond to the perceived challenges facing each generation. We can and should have the confidence to build on these achievements and re-envisage it for those that follow.”

Also speaking at the event was Professor Paul Cheshire of London School of Economics and David Knight of the Royal College of Art. The launch was followed by comments and feedback from attendees including the London Green Belt Council, all of whom we hope will stay involved with the discussion as it progresses. 

Download the report

London Society Blog

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