A debate organized by New London Architecture (NLA) has revealed a strong need for civic societies in London which protect the interests of the public in planning decisions, offering New York as a potential model. The debate, which was one of the headline events at the London Festival of Architecture, was organized in response to a study which showed over 200 tall buildings were currently in the pipeline for the UK's capital, which sparked fears that the current planning system was not fit for the purpose of controlling development in the city.
More on the debate after the break
Ben Rogers, director of think tank Centre for London, said "We have failed to create an effective civic organisation in London that can monitor events in the built environment and contribute to debates about it.
"If we had such an organisation I wonder if we would have been aware of the rapidly changing nature of the skyline and the extraordinary transformation that’s coming."
He compared this situation to the system in New York, where membership organizations such as the Municipal Arts Society put their $5 million budget towards representing the public in planning decisions.
Head of New London Architecture Peter Murray agreed with this comment, adding that he was part of an attempt to revive the London Society, which was founded in 1912 by Edwin Lutyens and will hopefully provide "just that civic voice".
The argument made by the panel adds to London's recent envy of the New York planning system, after earlier this year Terry Farrell's review of UK architecture proposed a switch from the UK's current, reactive planning system to the more proactive system of zoning used in the United States.
Story via BD Online