Putting people and design at the heart of house building – debate hosted by L&Q and NLA

A high-profile panel of housing leaders, architects and policy makers will gather at NLA – London’s Centre for the Built Environment – on September 5th to debate the importance of people-focused design in tackling London’s housing crisis.

Co-hosted by housing association L&Q to mark their 50th anniversary, the free New London Architecture (NLA) breakfast talk is called “How do we create places where people want to live?” It will be chaired by BBC News home editor Mark Easton.

The discussion will centre around how London’s ambitious housing targets can be met, while at the same time creating homes and communities that meet the physical, social and economic needs of the people who will live in them.

L&Q Chairman Turlogh O’Brien said:

“Everybody knows that London needs more housing, but design is a crucial ingredient we need to get right if we are to create sustainable communities and homes that are high quality but affordable.

“We want to consider three key questions at the debate: what are the building blocks of successful communities, how successfully are we creating places that people are proud to be a part of, and how can we avoid the mistakes of the past when it comes to estate renewal?”

Guest panellists include:

  • Turlogh O’Brien, Chairman, L&Q
  • Vidhya Alakeson, Deputy Chief Executive, Resolution Foundation
  • Simon Bayliss , Partner, HTA Design LLP
  • Richard Blakeway, Deputy Mayor for Housing, Land and Property, GLA
  • Kathryn Firth, Chief of Design, LLDC
  • Cllr Peter John, Leader, Southwark Council
  • Barry McCullough , Director, Levitt Bernstein
  • Peter Murray, Chairman, NLA

Fuelling the discussion will be a new report by the Centre for Urban and Community Research at Goldsmiths, University of London, which was commissioned by L&Q. The report, “Changing places, changing lives” assesses the impact of L&Q’s regeneration work in seven locations across London.

The report provides an independent framework that L&Q and other housing providers could use in future to evaluate the impact of regeneration on residents and communities.

It will also enable L&Q to learn from its achievements and, crucially, develop a set of seven guiding principles for the next 50 years:

  • Connect with health, education, employment, the arts and whatever works locally;
  • Tap into local communities, local intelligence and local commitment;
  • Create mixed communities that are rich in diversity;
  • Assess the impact of work over the long-term and share the results;
  • Learn from different approaches;
  • Focus on what L&Q does best and work with like-minded organisations to do the rest; and
  • Forge strong partnerships, based on trust, with local authorities to deliver their vision.

The debate takes place from 8.30am to 9.30am on Thursday, September 5 at NLA – London’s Centre for the Built Environment, 26 Store Street, London WC1E 7BT.

It is free to attend, but registration is essential via the NLA website.