Future London Leaders 21: Proposals for London

Future London Leaders Round 21 wrapped up on 12 June with the group presenting their ‘Proposals for London’ based on the theme of Waterways. The event was kindly hosted by Avison Young.

In addition to leadership skills workshops, a professional ethics session and presentation coaching, the FLL21 programme included field trips to Thamesmead to explore the ways in which Peabody have kept water at the centre of their estate regeneration plans, and visits to Regents Canal and the Lower Lea Valley. For their final task, candidates were asked to select any aspect of developing on or around water and propose their own solution, whilst incorporating the leadership elements of the course. The combination of these elements with each candidate’s own personal and professional experience resulted in a fascinating and varied array of topics.

Some of the topics, presented to an audience of mentors, FoL board members, sponsors and friends of Future of London, included the ownership of waterways, designing with water, biodiversity, sustainable drainage systems and floating homes. Audience members cast their votes for their favourite idea, the most feasible idea and the best pitch in presentation terms and the results were as follows:

Favourite idea

Lydia Volans – Senior Project Officer, Greater London Authority
Activating water at Royal Victoria Dock

London’s waterways are increasingly being revitalised for leisure and wellbeing. But at the Royal Docks in Newham, the sheer expanse of water creates a significant challenge to unlocking its potential. How can the water at Royal Victoria Dock be developed to support the area’s regeneration, and benefit current and future residents? With a public realm strategy due later this year, this is a critical opportunity to ensure the water becomes a focal point for the community, using floating structures to create new public spaces.

Most feasible

Iona Drummond – Development Manager, Swan
PeakTime Pathways: unlocking London’s commuting networks

Overcrowding on London’s public transport has encouraged many commuters to cycle to work. Despite this being a sustainable alternative, existing cycle networks are at capacity, deterring new commuters from hopping on a bike. There is a clear need to expose new routes available to commuting cyclists. This can be achieved through the network of canal towpaths linking the residential outskirts to the central business districts of the city. PeakTime Pathways seeks to integrate towpaths into London’s commuting networks as well as solving conflicts over rights of way and restricted speed limits for cyclists. It is time to unlock these routes to transform commuting by bicycle during peak hours.

Best pitch

Danny Tompkins – Accents Project Producer, Poplar HARCA
Floating Homes London

Every few years another architect or urbanist boldly claims that the waterways will solve London’s housing crisis. And they aren’t wrong; our rivers, canals and docks have enormous potential for thousands of homes. But in reality, we still aren’t building close to enough moorings or houseboats to make a difference. How can London actually deliver on this potential, and create a generation of floating homes? The solution lies in untangling a confusing and complicated market. Floating Homes London will be a market accelerator for floating homes in London, offering advocacy, expertise, and funding to mooring and floating home developers.


The presentations were followed by the graduation ceremony, certificates, awards and a celebration!

Congratulations once more to all FLL21 graduates, best of luck and keep in touch!

Chloë Clay, Urban Design and Development Lead, RB Kingston
Alex Cook, Senior Development Manager, Countryside
Iona Drummond, Development Manager, Swan
Helene Estien, Project Officer, LB Hackney
Richard Freeman, Team Leader – South Team, LB Croydon
Katie Glasgow, Deputy Manager – Strategic Policy, LB Hackney
James Keogh, Principal Urban Designer, Greater London Authority
Marc Lancaster, Private Housing Policy Officer, LB Tower Hamlets
Carmen Largacha, Senior Urban Designer, Arup
Oli Pinch, Head of Networks, Future of London
Adam Price, Senior Planner, Tibbalds
Danny Tompkins, Accents Project Producer, Poplar HARCA
Patrick Van Den Bos, Business Development Manager, Catalyst
Lydia Volans, Senior Project Officer, Greater London Authority
Jody Williams, Deputy Planning Manager, LB Sutton

* * *

Special thanks to the FLL21 mentors for their time and insight!

Jon Abbott, Head of Regeneration, LB Southwark
Karen Barke, Head of Estate Regeneration, LB Hackney
Richard Blakeway, Chair, BexleyCo Ltd
Linda Convery, Partner, TLT Solicitors
Sue Cooper, Director of Business Development, Catalyst
Jessica Crowe, Assistant Director, LB Sutton
Matt Dillon, Associate Director – City Economics Team, Arup
Helen Fisher, Interim Director of Housing – Regeneration & Planning, LB Haringey
Naz Hussain, Director of Growth, RB Kingston
Felicie Krikler, Director, Assael Architecture
Matt Lally, Associate Director, Arup
Tiffany Lynch, Infrastructure Strategy Manager, LB Bexley
Kush Rawal, Residential Investment Director, Thames Valley
Hilary Satchwell, Director, Tibbalds
Guy Slocombe, Group Business Development Director, The Hyde Group
Carolyn Tobin , Senior Development Manager, Berkeley
Anthony Van Hoffen, Partner, Lewis Silkin


Looking ahead, FLL22 is now in full swing with the theme of Community Benefit. Their graduation will be coming up on 18 September, with FLL23 launching soon after; to find out more about our bespoke professional development courses, visit our Leaders course pages.

Future London Leaders is sponsored in part by Lovell and hosted by Lewis Silkin. The course, alongside the next-level Leaders Plus offer, is known as one of London’s top cross-sector leadership programmes and has more than 429 graduates in its Alumni Network.