Conference: Creating Resilient Town Centres

Future of London’s full-day conference, Creating Resilient Town Centres, was held on Tuesday, 23rd June in central London.

Sponsored by Arup, Bilfinger GVA and Pollard Thomas Edwards, this free conference shared strategies and best practice for reinforcing, rethinking and reinventing town centres across London – old and new, large and small.

London’s town centres are key to supporting its communities, especially as the Capital seeks ways accommodate its growing population: town centres provide jobs, services, leisure and civic amenities, and will play an increasingly important role in meeting housing need.

National and local policy recognise the importance of high streets and the town centres that support them, but with threats from online retailing, demographic change and budget cuts, this is a good time to examine the emerging practices and relationships that will allow London’s diverse town centres to prosper.

Source: 2013 Town Centre Health Check, GLA

Sessions followed the natural course of town centre renewal, from needs assessment, planning and consultation through delivery and changing uses to stewardship and maintenance. Speakers and discussion also focused on practical issues like dealing with vacant properties, thorny problems such as betting shops, and future-proofing strategies to help make centres connected and responsive enough to work in the long term.

Speakers and guests included decision-makers from across the public, private and third sectors, and panels featured a mix of known experts and fresh voices. This was an excellent time to exchange best practice and sort through tough issues with other practitioners.

This conference was free to attend thanks to our sponsors:



  • Paul Augarde, Head of Creativity & Innovation, Poplar HARCA
  • Ken Baikie, Director of Thamesmead Regeneration, Peabody
  • Gillian Balfe, Town Center Manager, LB Redbridge
  • Andrew Beharrell, Senior Partner, Pollard Thomas Edwards
  • Heather Cheesbrough, Assistant Director of Strategic Planning, Regeneration & Economic Development, LB Hounslow
  • Sophia de Sousa, Chief Executive, The Glass-House Community-Led Design
  • Clare Devine, Director of Architecture, CABE at the Design Council
  • Patrick Devlin, Partner, Pollard Thomas Edwards
  • Esther Everett, Interim Head of Physical Regeneration & Design, London Legacy Development Corporation
  • Claudette Forbes, CAF Consulting Ltd.
  • Sue Foster OBE, Strategic Director for Delivery, LB Lambeth
  • Jerome Frost OBE, Global Planning Director and Leader of Consulting (UKMEA), Arup
  • Andy Godfrey, Public Policy Manager, Alliance Boots; Chair, Local Government Policy Advisory Group, British Retail Consortium
  • Ellen Greenberg, Director, Integrated City Planning, Arup
  • Jane Groom, Board Director, London Communications Agency
  • Chris Hall, Director, Bilfinger GVA
  • David Harley, Group Manager, Economic Development & Regeneration, LB Barking & Dagenham
  • Victoria Hills, Chief Executive, Old Oak & Park Royal Development Corporation

  • Gerry Hughes, Senior Director and National Head of Planning, Development & Regeneration, Bilfinger GVA
  • Lara Kinneir, Director, Public Place Agency; Programme Manager, London Festival of Architecture 2015
  • Sir Edward Lister, London Deputy Mayor for Policy and Planning
  • Roger Madelin CBE, Partner, Argent LLP
  • Alison Mayer, Senior Project Officer, Regeneration Team, Greater London Authority
  • Matthew McMillan, Head of Inward Investment, LB Croydon
  • Daniel Moylan, Chair, Mayor’s Design Advisory Group, Greater London Authority
  • James Murray, Cabinet Member for Housing, LB Islington
  • Peter O’Brien, Area Regeneration Manager, Tottenham Hale, LB Haringey
  • Simon Pitkeathley, Chief Executive, Camden Town Unlimited
  • Gary Rice, Head of Development Management, LB Southwark
  • Malcolm Smith, Fellow in Masterplanning and Urban Design, Arup
  • Valerie Solomon, Policy Manager, Housing & Planning, London Councils
  • Ziona Strelitz, Director, ZZA Responsive User Environments
  • Lucy Taylor, Director of Regeneration and Planning, LB Ealing
  • Neil Taylor, Kingston Futures Programme Manager, RB Kingston
  • Adam Towle, Senior Project Officer, Regeneration Team, Greater London Authority
  • Lucinda Turner, Head of Strategy and Policy, Transport for London
  • Arlene van Bosch, Projects Director, Cathedral Group

Click here to download the full programme (pdf)


Morning sessions:
Afternoon sessions:


Press release 27 June 2015: High Street “far from dead” but needs bespoke approach.

For press enquiries, please contact us.

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Photo credits: Marcos Bevilacqua Photography, courtesy Bilfinger GVA