Deputy Mayor of London Sir Simon Milton announced plans to turn London into a 'Cycle City' at today's UrbanBuzz 'Reality of Creating Sustainable Communities’ conference at the One Great George Street, London. Over 250 people gathered at the closing event of the UrbanBuzz programme to discuss the future possibilities for shaping and developing our communities.
Speaking of the sustainability challenges for London Milton said: “The 50% target for affordable homes is not helpful, in fact it could be damaging in the current market.”
Transport, the Deputy Mayor said, is key to keeping London’s growth sustainable, “building Crossrail will employ 14,000 people and is the centre piece of the TFL business plan. It will also enable regeneration of East London.
“The Mayor wants to turn London into a ‘Cycle City’, starting with hire schemes which can be paid rented with Oyster Cards or mobile phones.”
This scheme, the Deputy Mayor said, would be supported by the development of “Cycle-Superhighways” which would make cycling safer and easier.
He also commented upon the UrbanBuzz project Abundance, an urban agriculture project based in Brixton, “Boris is particularly keen on urban agriculture”. The Mayor’s office has established a capital growth plan which will be looking for patches of land across London from which similar projects can be run.
Also attending and speaking publicly for the first time as Chief Executive of the newly formed Homes and Communities Agency, Sir Bob Kerslake, discussed the importance of place making saying “it is not simply about good urban design, to get great places you have to look at issues in the round”, focussing on transport, communities and urban design.
The HCA are already having to adapt their mission so that they can deal with the credit crunch. Sir Bob said that the downturn would be hitting places at very different stages of their regeneration journey.
“There is a very real risk in dealing with the credit crunch we may lose sight of our places. HCA will not fund schemes which are poorly designed. We will judge this place-by-place, scheme-by-scheme”. He stressed that while realism and adaptability in the short term are essential, a commitment to quality must not be lost and where development cannot be progressed, there is preparatory work which can be done.