Future London Leaders 25: Proposals for London

Future London Leaders 25: Proposals for London

Future London Leaders 25 concluded on Wednesday 7 October with candidates pitching their Proposals for London in webinar format. The theme for this round was Health and Wellbeing.

With the cohort divided into two groups for morning and afternoon webinars, virtual audiences of colleagues, mentors, sponsors, alumni, course contributors and friends of Future of London tuned in and cast their votes from home.

As the culmination of the six-month course, candidates had the chance to pitch their ideas for making London a more liveable city and engage in lively Q&A with the audience using skills learnt and enhanced through the programme.

It has been a pleasure to work with this group on what has been our first course hosted entirely online. Huge thanks to Urbancanda for reformatting the leadership modules for an online learning environment and to the cohort for their feedback, which will enable us to continue to improve the programme.

Future of London will be rescheduling the graduation section of the event so that candidates can celebrate and network with their peers and mentors once it is safe to do so. The team are looking forward to meeting the newest alumni in person!

See all candidates' Proposals in brief 100-word summaries.

Candidates and webinar attendees cast their votes in three categories and the results were as follows:

Group 1 – AM

Favourite Idea – joint winners

Sarah Hall, Development Manager, Swan Housing
Ageing in our capital – the key to independent living

Future London Leaders 25: Proposals for London

Modern medicine has effectively resulted in us living twice as long in a little over a century. In London, the number of over-60s is predicted to increase to just under 2 million by 2035 and the over-70s are expected to rise by 70%. The Covid-19 pandemic presents a pivotal moment in transforming the way we look at supporting the ageing population in our capital. My proposal suggests how to maintain independent living later in life through making your home work smarter for you. It recognises the use of smart technology to support good physical and mental health and wellbeing of ageing Londoners and how to help create spaces tailored to our specific needs.

Alex Smith, Area Planning Manager, RB Greenwich
Increasing biodiversity to improve people’s health and wellbeing: Ecotherapy

Future London Leaders 25: Proposals for London

Have you taken 10 minutes recently to slow down, take a step away from daily life and to reap the benefits of being close to nature? Research proves daily access to green space can significantly improve a person’s health and wellbeing. However historically biodiversity has not been the first priority for planning in new developments. Learning from the past, living in the present and planning for the future wellbeing of society requires policies to focus on increasing access to nature. By doing so, these changes will have a critical role in maintaining our mental health.

Most Feasible

Cathy Molloy, Senior Planner, LB Richmond & Wandsworth 
Food banks and the use of education

Future London Leaders 25: Proposals for London

There are now about 2,000 food banks across the UK with an increase in distribution of 73% over the past five years. Between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020, more than 700,000 three-day emergency food supplies went out to children. Pressure on food banks is likely to continue due to the long-term economic impacts of Covid-19. Whilst they’re still needed, combining the popularity of growing food with a more focused provision of supplies, tailored recipes, education and other wider social benefits, food banks can become places of food education.

Best Pitch

Alex Bailey, Business Support & Service Improvement Manager, EastendHomes
Growing for Gold: Securing Spaces for Green Fingers

Future London Leaders 25: Proposals for London

The Small Holdings and Allotments Act 1908 laid the framework for plots of common land to be used by local people. Over the decades these have fallen out of fashion and often built upon. Meanwhile, many new developments have bland green spaces, often defensively planted with little community value. With a growing awareness of healthy eating, food miles, organic produce, and social isolation, this project seeks to provide access for local residents to a new era of communal growing facilities – no longer banished to the fringes of an estate but integrated into the areas around local homes.

Group 2 – PM

Favourite Idea

Katie Crosbie, Principal Planner, LB Ealing
‘Growing Spaces’ – A collaborative approach to identifying and securing temporary sites for local food growing

Future London Leaders 25: Proposals for London

The benefits of gardening and food growing to the health and wellbeing of people and communities is widely recognised. However, in an urbanised and high-land value environment, many Londoners do not have access to land for growing. Local authorities, their planning departments and landowners are well-placed to identify opportunities to create innovative spaces for growing food and make it easier for people to participate in horticultural activities. My proposal surveys opportunities for vacant sites and land awaiting development to be re-purposed temporarily for growing food. It then sets out a strategy for how local authorities can proactively identify, help secure interim use, and connect landowners with prospective gardeners in the local community.

Most Feasible

Kevin Munnelly, Corporate Head of Economic Development, Housing & Investment, RB Kingston
New office formats to promote health and wellbeing

Future London Leaders 25: Proposals for London

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on the service delivery of councils; remote working and online service delivery have become the new normal for many employees. The pandemic has supercharged change that was already evolving, driven in part by technology and a desire for a better work life balance with repeated requests for greater flexibility supported by new office layouts and working/booking arrangements that are Covid-compliant. The Royal Borough of Kingston has significant underutilised space available. There is an opportunity to create new office formats that meet the future needs of teams in safe conditions. With a greater focus on localism and the rise of the 15-minute city concept there may even be a commercial opportunity to let unallocated bookings to local businesses.

Best Pitch

Clare Healy, Principal Transport Officer, OPDC
Mini-Healthy Streets: parks for kids

Future London Leaders 25: Proposals for London

Nearly 40 per cent of all London’s children are overweight or obese: a huge health crisis. Physical activity is critical for children to be healthy as they grow, yet only three in ten school children reach minimum recommended activity levels. To tackle this the Mayor of London is promoting ‘Healthy Streets’ to encourage walking, cycling and playing outdoors. My proposal is to introduce miniature ‘Healthy Streets’ within local parks for children. These model streets, where kids can play and cycle on mini roads, also educates them about active travel and the environment. This combines play, activity, education and positive travel behaviours from a young age.


Congratulations to all Future London Leaders 25 candidates!

  • Alex Bailey, Business Support & Service Improvement Manager, EastendHomes
  • George Bennett, Senior Employer’s Agent, Potter Raper
  • Mahnaz Chowdhery, Deputy Planning Manager – North Area Team, LB Waltham Forest
  • Katie Crosbie, Principal Planner, LB Ealing
  • Sarah Hall, Development Manager, Swan Housing
  • Clare Healy, Principal Transport Officer, OPDC
  • Cat Janman, Project Manager – Housing Regeneration, LB Southwark
  • Antoinette Johnson, Service Manager, Family Support & Child Protection, LB Bexley
  • Cathy Molloy, Senior Planner, LB Richmond & Wandsworth
  • Kevin Munnelly, Corporate Head of Economic Development, Housing and Investment, RB Kingston
  • Sadia Nishu, Lead Principal Planner, LB Redbridge
  • Rebecca Reid, Senior Policy Officer, GLA Housing & Land
  • Tom Selby, Deputy Team Leader Placemaking, LB Croydon
  • Alex Smith, Area Planning Manager, RB Greenwich
  • Ryan Stevenson, Delivery Manager, Home Group
  • Nathan Vasey, Business, Culture and Investment Manager, LB Lambeth

Thank you to all of the FLL25 mentors for their time, energy and insight to the programme:

  • Ruth Angel, Housing Regeneration Project Manager, LB Hackney
  • Sara Bailey, Head of Real Estate, Trowers & Hamlins
  • Simon Bevan, Director of Planning, LB Southwark
  • Tom Cardis, Interim Director of Planning, OPDC
  • Paul Dooley, Director of Estate Regeneration, Poplar HARCA
  • Esther Everett, Head of Design, LLDC
  • Caroline Harper, Chief Planner, Be First
  • Mike Kiely, Planning Consultant & Director, Planning + Regeneration Ltd
  • Dan Lindsay, Director, Hatch Regeneris
  • Sean McLaughlin, Managing Director, Homes for Haringey
  • Cordelia Osewa-Ediae, Senior Consultant, BT
  • Neil Parlett, Director – Planning Development & Regeneration, Lambert Smith Hampton
  • Maggie Rafalowicz, Director, Campbell Tickell
  • David Scourfield, Chief Planning Officer, LB Ealing
  • Sharon Strutt, Head of Regeneration, LB Redbridge
  • Carolyn Tobin, Head of Development, LLDC

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