Making the Most of… What We’ve Got

People standing and sitting round a large table in a bright, white office space with plants
Expressway, Royal Docks: office block converted into community workspace (Picture: General Projects)

From changing patterns of urban living after Covid to the climate emergency and funding cuts, the built environment sector needs to deliver under huge pressure. Our Making the Most of… event series asks how placemakers can respond.

Future of London is hosting a series of expert-led seminars exploring how to make the most of what we’ve got. This series provides a space to share concerns and discuss potential responses.

Drawing on multi-stakeholder perspectives, we aim to support the sector to deliver for citizens despite present-day barriers.

Making the Most of… Retrofit 

As the demands on our high streets and office spaces are in flux, retrofit has a vital role to play in creating resilient and flexible cities. There’s opportunity for city-wide, repeatable retrofit solutions to prevent local authorities duplicating work and competing for funds.

Five people sitting in a row talk in front of an audience
The panel for Making the Most of… Retrofit

The case for cutting embodied carbon made national news with the M&S Oxford Street case last year. But when it comes to creating local social value, is demolition ever the answer? The event in January 2024 explored:

  • Retrofitting occupied buildings
  • Building-in flexibility for different end uses
  • Systems opportunities in London
  • Planning as a lever to improve retrofit standards
  • Gathering and normalising data on existing building stock

A write-up will be published here soon.

Making the Most of… Public Assets

In 2021, we published a report called Better Use of Public Assets that looked at how councils could get more community value from buildings they owned, such as LB Newham’s Expressway building (pictured).

Now we return to the subject with a laser-focus on making the most of public assets and our building stock. Find out how innovative partnerships can drive local and cross-borough social and economic objectives.

We’ll explore topics such as:

  • Place-based social and economic value
  • Strategic alignment and coordinating asset classes across boroughs
  • Smart partnerships, delivery models and the end of Private Finance Initiative contracts
  • Better planning for the public estate of the future

Register for Making the Most of… Public Assets on Thurs 29 February here
Read our Better Use of Public Assets report and listen to the podcast here 

Making the Most of… Natural Renewal in our Cities

Nature brings many benefits to those who live in cities. From mitigating the effects of climate change to providing leisure and mental health benefits, nature is a critical contributor to a thriving city.

In our event in late March, we consider topics such as:

  • Building for resilience and urban heat islands
  • Accessible green spaces and health and wellbeing in the city
  • Green corridors and natural ‘stepping stones’ in inner-city areas
  • Measuring biodiversity net gain such as pollinator values
  • Biomimicry – nature in building design

Thanks to Arup, Montagu Evans, Mount Anvil and Potter Raper for supporting the Making the Most of… What We’ve got events programme.