Future London Leaders 28: Proposals for London

Future London Leaders 28 candidates presented their Proposals for London on 6 October, marking their graduation from the programme. Candidates gave PechaKucha-style presentations on the theme of public space, suggesting ways in which the public realm can better serve London residents. The group’s innovative ideas included opening railway arches for public use, enrolling young people as placemaking advisors, and using water features to cool down London’s hot summers.

The proposals were presented across two webinars, with virtual audiences of colleagues, mentors, alumni, course contributors and friends of Future of London. Candidates were quizzed in lively Q&A sessions and the audience cast their votes on ‘Favourite idea’, ‘Most feasible idea’ and ‘Best pitch’. Winners are announced below!

Huge congratulations to all the candidates! Their enthusiasm for pursuing their leadership journey never waned, and we have every confidence in their ongoing journeys as leaders. Huge thanks to Urbancanda for continuing to deliver first-class leadership modules and to the cohort for their thoughts and feedback, which will enable us to continue to improve the programme.

After the Proposals for London on Wednesday 6 October we hosted a much overdue celebration evening for all Future London Leaders candidates who have graduated online. It was a pleasure to raise a glass together, many thanks to Lovell for hosting. Congratulations once again to Future London Leaders 28 on becoming our newest alumni, we look forward to seeing you at the #Alumni500 celebration later this month!

See all candidates' proposals in 100-word summaries.

The results of the audience votes in three categories are as follows:

Group 1 – Morning session

Favourite Idea

Ayanda Collins, Interim Head of Transport Projects & People Friendly Streets, LB Islington
DIY streets: Airbnb for underused parking spaces in London

London’s on-street parking takes up as much space as 10 Hyde Parks. Given that the average car is parked 95% of the time, this space could be put to better use to serve whole communities in exciting ways. My Proposal for London seeks to deliver an app-based system to open up parking spaces for pop-events, on street marketing, art shows, restaurant seating, cycle parking, the options are endless! The app would be easy to use for consumers, lower the administrative burden of bespoke applications to councils and provide a new source of income for a greener future with less private car use.

Most Feasible

Lizzie Bird, Acting Deputy Manager, Strategic Planning, LB Hackney
Hackney’s Young Place Advisors

Never has the importance of public space in shaping the lives of young people been clearer, but what are the formal or statutory routes for young people to engage in shaping the public spaces designed for them? This proposal recognises that the planning system can and should do more to engage young people in the design of public spaces and in shaping the built environment. There is the opportunity for the planning process to lead the way by setting the bar higher. My Proposal for London suggests establishing a group of young people to shape the built environment and for Hackney’s Young Place Advisors to be a key part of Hackney moving towards becoming a fully child-friendly borough.

Best Pitch

Stephanie Robson, Senior Consultant, Arup
Community super-hubs for every London neighbourhood

Post-pandemic, people are likely to continue to value and visit their local area more often than central London. This provides an opportunity to reinvigorate our outer London neighbourhoods. I propose using existing, unappreciated public space to create a community ‘super-hub’ in every London neighbourhood. These would be welcoming, multi-functional centres, reflecting the unique character and diversity of the local area. Each should fulfil key needs: food, shelter, social interaction, access to nature, space for learning, working and physical activity. A super-hub would provide the space for people to be solitary or social, and to spend time being creative, productive and happy.

Group 2 – Afternoon session

Favourite Idea

Sarah Butler, Sharing Cities Programme Manager, RB Greenwich
London’s coolest places

London is getting hotter, with heatwaves now a regular feature of summers in our city. Whilst some may welcome increased temperatures, the most vulnerable and those living in the densest urban areas will find it increasingly difficult to deal with rising summer temperatures and find respite from the heat. A recent government report estimated 7,000 heat-related deaths every year in the UK by 2050. Designing cities to deal with hot summers is a familiar concept to our European cousins. My proposal will look at how London could revamp areas of the city, using greening and water to create cool zones using the city’s landscapes to help citizens adapt to climate change.

Most Feasible

Bhavna Brooker, Spatial Planning Programme Lead, Transport for London
From railway arches to vibrant public spaces

London has many railways arches and viaducts running through the city, many are inaccessible, underused spaces, and on several occasions sever communities and create hostile urban environments. Those that are in use are often for car based uses such as roads or car washes, MOT centres, car showrooms and where they are open to the public, they are often unwelcoming spaces where people do not want to spend any time. My proposal looks at the opportunity to open these spaces in a coordinated way for public uses, public parks, walking and cycling routes, with places for the local community to use and enjoy.

Best Pitch

Julietta Kene, Senior Development Manager, Swan Housing
Concrete canvas

Regeneration, in most cases, means knocking down and starting again. Whilst this is a great option for some, what it doesn’t solve is antisocial behaviour. This is solved through community involvement which is usually achieved by building on existing foundations and bringing people together. My proposal applies the same logic to buildings that are structurally sound but lack warmth and amenities. With correct engagement and some creative implementation, current estate public spaces can be transformed into more community focused and welcoming places, as well as facilitating interaction between neighbours thus creating stronger communities.

***

Congratulations to all Future London Leaders 28 candidates!

  • Vicki Baker, Senior Design & Technical Manager, Catalyst
  • Lizzie Bird, Acting Deputy Manager, Strategic Planning, LB Hackney
  • Bhavna Brooker, Spatial Planning Programme Lead, Transport for London
  • Sarah Butler, Sharing Cities Programme Manager, RB Greenwich
  • Ayanda Collins, Interim Head of Transport Projects & People Friendly Streets, LB Islington
  • Tiffany Hepher, Consultant, Hatch
  • James Hughes, Team Leader, LB Lewisham
  • Carol Jones, Customer Service Manager, Gateway Housing
  • Halima Kanyike, Care & Support Team Leader, Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing
  • Julietta Kene, Senior Development Manager, Swan Housing
  • Tom Mukherjee-Neale, Senior Project Manager, Places for People
  • Stephanie Robson, Senior Consultant, Arup
  • Ben Tomlinson, Strategic Programme Manager, LB Hounslow

Thank you to all of the FLL28 mentors for their time, energy and insight:

  • Ruth Angel, Housing Regeneration Project Manager, LB Hackney
  • Virginia Blackman, Principal – National Head Site Assembly & Compulsory Purchase, Avison Young
  • Christina Calderato, Head of Transport Strategy Planning, Transport for London
  • Clare Chettle, Associate Partner, Airey Miller LLP
  • Sara Hanrahan, Partner, Lewis Silkin
  • Chris Hartiss, Design Director, Modulous
  • Steve Kennard, Regeneration Director, Hadley Property Group
  • Chris Langdon Development and Investment Director, Engie UK
  • Sherine McFarlane, Head of Social & Economic Regeneration, Notting Hill Genesis
  • Maggie Rafalowicz, Director, Campbell Tickell
  • Kush Rawal, Director of Residential Investment, Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing
  • Sarah Beth Riley, Associate Architect, Be First
  • Luke Riley, Projects Director, Swan Housing
  • Kaye Stout, Partner, Pollard Thomas Edwards
  • Sharon Strutt, Head of Regeneration, LB Redbridge
  • Elaine Taylor, Director of Development – Cambridge Road Estate, RB Kingston

Future London Leaders is sponsored by Lovell and Lewis Silkin. Find out more about the course here.