Photography: Colin

Sadiq Khan has tasked 50 ‘design advocates’ to help steer London’s ‘good growth’ as its population heads towards 10 million.

Sir David Adjaye, Alison Brooks and Sadie Morgan are among the team tapped by the Mayor of London to raise the design standards of buildings and neighbourhoods. They will help direct his Good Growth by Design initiative, launched at the London School of Economics last night.

Aerial view of London
Photography: Dronepicr

‘London is facing unprecedented population growth and with that comes challenging work, but also amazing opportunities to deliver a city that is socially integrated, sustainable, healthier, safer and with a world class public realm,’ said Khan. ‘We must embrace London’s rapid growth with both hands and take this chance to use good architecture and planning to make a real difference to the lives of Londoners.’

The UK capital needs to provide space for 46,000 new jobs and build 50,000 new homes a year to cope with its swelling population. It also needs to create new infrastructure to support these. Khan’s Good Growth by Design programme aims to leave a legacy of world class buildings, and create a socially inclusive city.

London's skyline in 2013
London’s skyline in 2013. Photography: Kloniwotski

Added Sir David Adjaye: ‘Predictions of unprecedented growth within our capital urgently necessitate exceptional leadership and unparalleled design strategies in order for London to thrive as a successful and sustainable world city.’

Good Growth by Design will set ambitious building standards and undertake ‘rigorous design reviews’. It will also launch a new social enterprise called Public Practice, placing talented designers and planners in local authorities for up to a year, aiming to plug skills gaps and drive forward London’s development.

Khan explained: ‘One of the ways I want to apply the principles of Good Growth is to re-balance development in London away from the high-price homes in central London towards more genuinely affordable homes for all Londoners.’

His Good Growth plan will also use open procurement processes like design competitions in a bid to raise the quality of what’s being developed across the capital. Other Design Advocates guiding the initiative include Paul Karakusevic, Wayne Hemingway and Elsie Owusu.

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