Crossrail practitioners talk progress, debate process

Practitioners gathered at Arup on January 30th for the first research seminar in our project looking at strategies and best practice for realising regeneration and development around Crossrail stations. This session, dubbed Maximising Crossrail: The experience so far, provided a chance to both follow the research progress and to gain valuable, fresh insight from the public and private sector working across the Capital.

Crossrail research seminar - Martyn Saunders

Crossrail’s Ian Lindsay and GVA’s Martyn Saunders set the scene with a status update on delivering the line and an overview of previous research, before practitioners chimed in at roundtables with their own experience. There’s no denying the visible progress in delivering Europe’s biggest infrastructure project, but understanding process – what is (or isn’t) enabling regeneration and development around stations – is less straightforward across the Capital.

The design and procurement phases of Crossrail are more than 90% complete, and construction and testing are halfway through. Joint venture agreements are already in place for five of the dozen identified prime development opportunities: Bond Street, Hanover Square, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon and Moorgate. Across the entire line, there has already been significant activity around stations: 323 major planning applications, 67,500 residential units, 2.25 million square metres of office development and 330,000 square metres of retail space.

Practitioners broke into three discussions to delve into the experience of receiving Crossrail so far: the development roundtable, moderated by Regeneris Director Chris Paddock, focused on delivering major new schemes; Martina Juvara of Urban Silence facilitated the discussion on integration, considering regeneration and community engagement; and urban realm and surface transport were the subject of the connection roundtable, moderated by the Bartlett School of Planning’s Brian Garcia.

As multi-faceted as the discussions were, common threads jumped out, including the need to align all levels of policy, from local level to strategic vision; the need to connect delivery authorities; and the need to better future-proof stations and their surroundings for growth. Other strong points were the lack of public awareness beyond Crossrail’s central London stretch; the importance of coordinating private-sector investment; and the need to mitigate construction impact on businesses and residents.

This project will continue to drill down to key opportunities and challenges and – critically – best practice and action points going forward. Our next research seminar is on February 25th. Watch here for event details.

To further inform the project, interested practitioners are invited to add their own perspective to the questions explored at the research seminar’s roundtable discussions.

Drawing from your own experience, consider:

  • What’s been your actual experience of Crossrail to date? What would be your desired outcome? How do the two compare so far?
  • What approach or process is being employed to maximise benefit?
  • Who are the key partners in delivering this outcome?
  • What barriers exist? How might they be overcome?

Please get in touch with Jennifer Johnson to share your experience through the questions above, or through additional resources or data you are able to share.

The presentations from the seminar are available below.

This research programme is sponsored by:

Crossrail sponsors

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