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Search is on for timeless designs

Boris Johnson seeks winning examples of design and planning excellence that will be admired into the next century

The Mayor, Boris Johnson has this week (11 September) launched the London Planning Awards and is calling for planners, developers and architects to enter projects that display industry excellence and will positively impact the capital for decades to come.

The Awards will build on the success of the last five years, which has seen winners such as the Arsenal Emirates Stadium, the Lower Lea Valley Olympic and Legacy Masterplans and King’s Cross Central. The Awards are promoted by the Mayor of London, London First and the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and are joined this year for the first time by London Councils.

The 2008 Awards also see the introduction of two new categories – Best Project to Protect Communities and Best Built Project 5 Years On – as well as some changes to existing categories to reflect the priorities of the new Mayor.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said:

“London is a living, breathing, expanding city, a cornucopia of design and planning excellence that deserves to be celebrated and admired.

“The London Planning Awards, as well as being a great way of exchanging industry best practice, inspire planners and developers to shape a world class London that builds on our heritage and prepares it for the future.

“Above all, I’m looking for award winning projects that will improve the quality of life for all Londoners, consider the environment and the damaging effects of climate change and work towards keeping London safe.  All developments must remain appropriate to their context and setting and have enduring beauty that will remain into the next century for generations to come.”

Baroness Jo Valentine, Chief Executive of London First, said:

“London has a rich heritage which contributes to the city’s unique character and attractiveness.  Excellent planning helps to conserve this, while not preserving the city in aspic.  We must encourage the development of buildings which future generations will seek to conserve. Take the Gherkin – strongly opposed at first, it has become iconic and emblematic of London’s success and world city status.

“The London Planning Awards are about encouraging the best in this city as a symbol of our confidence, progress and success to others.  Through the Awards, we want to applaud all those involved in this urban renaissance – planners, development teams, consultants, local authorities – and urge them to press on with adding to and enhancing our evolving world-class capital.”

Janet O’Neill, President of the Royal Town Planning Institute, said:

“Planning has an enormous role to play in addressing issues as diverse as health and crime to climate change and social cohesion. At its best, it helps create environments in which communities can develop and thrive. London’s planners have played a significant role in making the capital the vibrant, diverse and liveable city that it is.

“These awards are tremendously important in recognising great planning and great planners and the Royal Town Planning Institute is delighted to continue to support their ongoing success. I would encourage anyone who has taken part in a planning project in the capital over the past twelve months to consider making a nomination.”

Councillor Merrick Cockell, Chairman of London Councils, said:

“Planning officers and councillors who sit on planning committees are the key to developing a city that meets the needs of the diverse communities who live and work in London. I would urge boroughs to submit applications for these prestigious awards to ensure they get the recognition they deserve for their expertise and commitment to making London a better place.”

The London Planning Awards were established to recognise the inspirational work of the capital’s planners.  While crucial to creating and maintaining the world class look and feel of London, their contribution is often overlooked.  Showcasing examples of outstanding planning achievements, the organisers are urging local authorities, consultants, developers and others to submit applications now and raise the profile of those key to defining the future shape of the capital.

The 2008 award categories and sponsors are as follows:

Best Built Project
sponsored by CB Richard Ellis

Best Built Project – Community Scale scheme
sponsored by Land Securities

Best Conceptual Project
sponsored by Berwin Leighton Paisner

Best New Public Space
sponsored by Lovells

Best New Place to Live
sponsored by NHBC

Best Project to Protect Communities
sponsored by Arup

Best Built Project – 5 years on
sponsored by GVA Grimley

Mayor’s Planning Award
The Mayor will select the winner of his Award for planning excellence from the shortlisted entries

For further information, please contact:
Graham Capper on 020 7665 1505 / 07852 03 03 03

Notes to Editors

The London Planning Awards, now in their sixth year, are run jointly by the Mayor, London First, the RTPI and London Councils, although are open to non members of London First and the RTPI.  Local authorities, consultants, community groups, developers, public agencies, partnerships and other teams are eligible to enter.  Applicants may enter their own work or be nominated.

Visual materials including logos and pictures both of previous winners and the 2007 Awards ceremony at City Hall are available upon request.  Please contact Kate Vandermeer at London First for more details.

London First is a business membership organisation whose mission is to make London the best city in the world in which to do business. London First undertakes this by mobilising the experience, expertise and enthusiasm of the private sector to develop practical solutions to the challenges facing London. London First also seeks to persuade central and London government to make the investments that London needs in its infrastructure

London First delivers its activities with the support of the capital’s major businesses in key sectors such as finance, professional services, property, ICT, creative industries, hospitality and retail. Membership also includes all of London’s universities as well as further education colleges and NHS hospital trusts. London First members represent over a quarter of London’s GDP.

London Councils is committed to fighting for more resources for London and getting the best possible deal for London’s 33 councils. We develop policy, lobby government and others, and run a range of services designed to make life better for Londoners.

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