Thursday 30th November 2017

Manisha Patel Appointed As A Mayor's Design Advocate


Manisha Patel, Partner, has been appointed as part of a 50-strong panel of Design Advocates to the Mayor of London - drawn from a pool of individuals representing the highest quality of talent and expertise across a broad range of built environment disciplines.

This is a unique expression of commitment to design quality coming from County Hall and is being personally backed by the Mayor, Sadiq Kahn.  He is lending the support of the existing departments at the GLA including the Culture and Planning teams.

The panel includes notable designers such as David Adjaye, and Alison Brooks and well known industry figures such as Elsie Owusu, Sadie Morgan, Roger Hawkins of Hawkins\Brown, former RIBA President Sunand Prasad and the Chairman of New London Architecture, Peter Murray.

Mayor’s Design Advocates are tasked with providing design and technical support to the Mayor and his staff, through advocacy, critique and research for his Good Growth by Design agenda, which looks to address the many pressing issues facing the capital’s built environment including London’s housing crisis.  Mayor’s Design Advocates (MDAs) form part of a pool of built environment professionals who represent architecture, urban design, regeneration planning, transportation design and engineering.

As part of the Mayors pledge to support Good Growth by Design (GGbD) the MDAs will use their skills and experience to assist, advise and critique the Mayor and local authorities in realising the ambition for Good Growth and provide important input into decision-making, investment and policy. The Good Growth initiative covers transport, regeneration, culture, environment, health and social inclusion. The definition of Good Growth will continue to evolve and develop as issues emerge and the initiative takes hold.  It is an opportunity to receive feedback from professionals and stakeholders in the field who have first-hand experience in implementing the current standards.

Manisha has been asked what her view of Good Growth meant in the most recent edition of the New London Quarterly magazine.  Manisha commented in relation to the area of estate regeneration;

“A lot is expected from the area of estate regeneration in helping to solve the country’s housing crisis.  Growth in this regard is measured in the increased residential capacity that can be achieved in ensuring commercial viability whilst re-housing all of the existing residents that wish to be re-housed.  Typically this must be at least a doubling of the existing condition.  All living things in an eco-system primed for growth are interconnected through networks of relationships.  In estate regeneration, good growth will only occur if the relationship with residents is properly nurtured, allowing their aspirations to be met within the spirit of the regeneration process.”

MDAs will attend Good Growth by Design meet-ups, which are a platform to promote good growth with peer reviews for on-going live research and programme activities.  Important focal topics to be discussed by the steering board will include London’s housing crisis, London’s environment, sustainability, health and culture. The aim here is to build a more inclusive city and facilitate an inviting place to live, work and visit and to create better neighbourhoods that are accessible, affordable, healthy and resilient. In addition to supporting and enriching the city’s public and civic spaces MDAs will be instrumental in creating ways to strengthen connections between street neighbourhoods and cultural zones with an inclusive and contextual approach.

The Mayor wants to significantly increase the number of affordable homes being built in London with half of all new homes to be genuinely affordable by 2021. Allocations are already in place for almost 90% of that total. The Mayor’s supplementary planning guidance (SPG) on housing is now in place and will inform all new developments. Good Growth requires design and planning that intensifies and maximises mixed-use development while retaining the character of existing communities and protecting fundamental open space.

The new London Plan which will shortly be consulted upon will include directional support for enhancing the public realm and quality of placemaking on high streets, the Thames, local markets and within business districts. It is important to protect London’s diverse small businesses and places of work and increase community participation in regeneration by providing support to London’s skill sector. The Mayor has pledged to protect and build on interconnected communities by finding new and creative ways to engage Londoners in local and regional planning. MDAs will assist in improving and developing the standards to ensure that the real needs and aspirations of communities are reflected.

The Mayor wishes to directly impact on the built environment to ensure that London is greener and cleaner and to encourage a dialogue which explores the relationship between architecture and the environment in new ways. This will help to ensure that London remains sustainable, healthy and resilient to our changing climate and specific environmental issues in London. MDAs will promote efficient design solutions with cleaner energy which move towards zero emission transport and buildings. The new London Plan will provide inclusive access to transport and to improve air quality to minimise exposure to air pollution.

PRP are continuously promoting innovative housing, urban design and regeneration planning solutions for the changing needs of our generation. To find out more about Manisha’s role as part of the Mayor’s Design Advocates or PRP please contact us with your questions and ideas.

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