The Guardian: "End of the car age: how cities are outgrowing the automobile"

"Cities around the world are coming to the same conclusion: they’d be better off with far fewer cars. So what’s behind this seismic shift in our urban lifestyles? Stephen Moss goes on an epic (car-free) journey to find out"

Link to web site

"Gilles Vesco calls it the 'new mobility'. It’s a vision of cities in which residents no longer rely on their cars but on public transport, shared cars and bikes and, above all, on real-time data on their smartphones. He anticipates a revolution which will transform not just transport but the cities themselves. 'The goal is to rebalance the public space and create a city for people,' he says. 'There will be less pollution, less noise, less stress; it will be a more walkable city.'

"Vesco, the politician responsible for sustainable transport in Lyon, played a leading role in introducing the city’s Vélo'v bike-sharing scheme a decade ago. It has since been replicated in cities all over the world. Now, though, he is convinced that digital technology has changed the rules of the game, and will make possible the move away from cars that was unimaginable when Vélo'v launched in May 2005. 'Digital information is the fuel of mobility,' he says. 'Some transport sociologists say that information about mobility is 50% of mobility. The car will become an accessory to the smartphone.'

"Vesco is nothing if not an evangelist. 'Sharing is the new paradigm of urban mobility. Tomorrow, you will judge a city according to what it is adding to sharing. The more that we have people sharing transportation modes, public space, information and new services, the more attractive the city will be'."


New York Times: "How Do We Protect New York City’s Pedestrians?"

Link to web site

"For much of the 20th century, when the engineers running urban transit authorities thought about traffic, they thought less about the pedestrian experience and more about saving money, by saving time, by speeding movement, by enabling cars. They analyzed traffic flow, the backup of cars, stoplight times and right- and left-­hand turns, all in an effort to keep vehicles moving freely and quickly through the city. They ran the data through a program that would spit out a rating (A to F) for the 'level of service'. An 'A' meant that a street was congestion-free, which gave cars the potential to speed; an 'F' meant that it was too congested to be functional. The grade considered ideal for most streets in New York was a 'C'.

The value of speed, for car commuters, was an easy equation for engineers. Zhan Guo, a professor of urban planning and transportation at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service says:
"The assumption is that all travel time is a waste of time. But that rationale doesn’t apply to pedestrians."
The worth of the pedestrian experience, so pokey, so subjective, was scarcely considered, partly because it was hard to quantify.

"Paul Steely White, the executive director of Transportation Alternatives, an advocacy organization, recalls that as recently as the administration of Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, he and his colleagues regularly heard top Transportation Department officials make references to 'pedestrian interference':
"They saw pedestrians as a nuisance - something that had to be dealt with."
No policy better reflected the administration’s regard for pedestrians than the barriers that Giuliani’s police force erected throughout Midtown in 1998 to rein in jaywalkers. The blockades were cumbersome, ugly and pre-­emptively punitive. As irritating as they were, or perhaps because they were irritating, pedestrians frequently made a point of finding their way around them."

Failed Architecture: Video: "The Pedway: Elevating London"

Link to web site

"The Pedway: Elevating London is a documentary about the ambitious attempt to create a network of raised walkways in the City of London. Constructed in the 1960s, the elevated infrastructure soon became obsolete, leaving behind haunting modernist traces in modern-day London. The film was screened at various festivals, including the Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam, and of course at The Barbican, which is integrated in the Pedway system. It is now online for a limited time. FA talked to director Chris Bevan Lee about the documentary and London’s ‘streets in the sky’.

After World War II, much of London was in rubble and had to be built up from scratch, allowing ambitious architecture and urban planning. One of the schemes for a new London was the ‘Pedway’, a network of elevated walkways throughout the City. The plan was only partially carried out as a result of budget cuts and modified plans, with part of the pathways leading to dead ends and physically decaying over time. Next to this, the idea of separating pedestrians from motorised traffic became outdated after changing planning paradigms and everyday urban dynamics. Nowadays, in a nostalgic, gloomy and inconvenient way, the Pedway’s remnants remind us of a future that never came."


"NLA unveils the New London Model and public spaces programme"

Link to web site

"NLA has kicked off its Public London programme of events to celebrate 10 years of transformations to the city's public realm and unveiled its new interactive model for the first time.

"The Public London exhibition tracks the key initiatives, people and projects from 2005 to 2015, uncovering what NLA chairman Peter Murray branded 'the incredible transformations' in the last decade or so and a shift in the way our public space is designed, delivered and managed, with 250 projects showcased through images and models.

"The show opened with private view attended by John Gummer (now Lord Deben) who was a prime mover in the World Squares for All concept and kicked off some of those key changes, added Murray. 'While London’s public realm has clearly come a long way in 10 years, there is still a lot to be done,' Murray added, so the show includes recommendations that might ensure that London remains an 'open and inclusive city in future'."


The OPDC: Towards a Local Plan

Development Plan 

The Development Plan forms the policy framework against which planning applications in the OPDC area will be assessed. The Development Plan consists of the following policy documents:

Local Plan

As a Local Planning Authority the OPDC has a duty to prepare a Local Plan that sets its strategy for development within its area and the policies that will be used to direct development and determine applications for planning permission across the entire OPDC area. The OPDC is currently in the process of producing the first draft of the Local Plan and plans to consult the public on this draft in Autumn 2015.

Local Authority Development Plans

Until the OPDC adopts its own Local Plan for the OPDC area, Local Authority Development Plans will apply to the areas that they cover (as illustrated in the above map). Links to the relevant Development Plan Document are provided below.

London Borough of Brent

London Borough of Ealing

London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham

Mayor’s London Plan

The London Plan is the overall strategic plan for London, and it sets out a fully integrated economic, environmental, transport and social framework for the development of the capital to 2036. It forms part of the development plan for the OPDC.

WSP: "Old Oak Common London Overground connectivity"

"WSP was appointed by client Transport for London (TfL) and Network Rail to develop options and recommend a preferred solution for a London Overground station to link to the proposed High Speed 2/ Crossrail interchange at Old Oak Common. [We offered:]
  • Collaborative approach with the client working together as one team
  • Multidisciplinary team advised on wide ranging client issues
  • Managing conflicting stakeholder requirements for a preferred solution.
"Government proposals for a new High Speed 2 (HS2) and Crossrail station at Old Oak in London could make it one of the UK’s best connected railway stations by 2026. The proposed interchange will bring long and medium distance rail access, delivering huge regeneration potential to Old Oak. However, the HS2 Hybrid Bill did not include providing more local rail access via connections to London Overground services.

"WSP was appointed in 2013 to work collaboratively with client Transport for London (TfL) and Network Rail to develop and assess opportunities to connect the London Overground network to the HS2 and Crossrail interchange.

"The WSP team, including Terry Farrell Architects, Sweets Cost Consultant and Laing O’Rourke, provided engineering, environmental and station planning services to the study, with TfL providing most of the railway planning, operations and public consultations input.

"Following an initial review, four preferred options were developed to Grip 2 design level, three of which were further developed to enable a preferred option to be selected. The team worked successfully with TfL to identify a comprehensive train operational and timetabling analysis, pedestrian movement modelling, engineering and environmental assessments, together with construction methodology and programme implications, and developed and evaluated the cost of each option.

"Following a public consultation exercise in 2014 and completion of a combined assessment report, TfL’s preferred option was announced in early 2015. This recommends two separate stations to serve the West London Line and the North London Line."

Old Oak Strategy Board (which is no more)

That's enough minutes.

Until Wed 6 May: "Chief Executive Officer (OPDC)"

Salary: £105,893 per annum
Contract type: Full-time, permanent
Reference: GLA2784
Interview Date: Friday 22 May 2015
Date posted: 22 April 2015
Closing date: 6 May 2015

"Launched on 1 April 2015, the OPDC’s purpose is to use the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of investment in HS2 and Crossrail to develop an exemplar community and new centre in north-west London, creating opportunities for local people and driving innovation and growth in London and the UK.

"The board is now seeking an outstanding candidate for CEO who will successfully lead this exciting new organisation to deliver a major regeneration programme that will maximise the returns brought by the HS2/Crossrail stations, local public transport improvements and long-term regeneration opportunities for West London communities.

"From day one the challenge will be significant; you’ll work closely with the Chair, board and management team to set the strategic direction, mission, values and culture of the OPDC, develop a set of operational policies, governance procedures and ensuring you have an effective team of highly-motivated individuals to deliver the Mayor’s vision for regeneration in the area.

"You will achieve all this whilst taking a lead role in promoting the OPDC and its work. Developing relationships with key delivery partners and stakeholders you will enhance the OPDC’s impact and profile and will work across sector boundaries to identify areas for continued opportunity and improvement. You will instill a culture that listens to Londoners and recognises their needs in all that you do.

"To be successful in this role you will have significant experience within construction, physical infrastructure and urban regeneration with an excellent record of achievement at senior executive level. You will be politically astute and have a deep understanding of the scrutiny and visibility of leading a high-profile organisation. Your ability to build and manage relationships will be demonstrated through your experience of working successfully across political and organisational boundaries. You will be an inspirational leader, setting high standards for yourself and others and creating an organisation that learns from experience.

"In addition to a good salary package, we offer an attractive range of benefits including 30 days’ annual leave, interest free season ticket loan, interest-free bicycle loan, childcare voucher scheme and a career-average pension scheme"

"If you have any specific queries relating to the recruitment process please contact our recruitment team via the following email address: glajobs@london.gov.uk quoting reference GLA2784.

"Closing date for receipt of completed applications is 23:59 on Wednesday 06 May 2015. Interviews will take place at City Hall on Friday 22 May 2015."

dash.com: "Affordable housing delivery in London 'at lowest point since 2004'"

Link to web site

"Affordable housing delivery in London is at its lowest point for over 10 years, a new report revealed today.

"Research carried out by the London Tenants Federation shows the number of homes for social rent and 'affordable rent' delivered in 2013/14 dropped to 4,221 - the lowest total since housing targets were first set in the 2004 London Plan."


Just Space: "Old Oak Common, Park Royal consultations"

Link to web site

"The consultation about the draft Old Oak Common and Park Royal Opportunity Area Planning Framework (OAPF) closed on 14 April 2015.

"The London Tenants Federation (supported by a grant from the Trust for London) with members of Just Space have been assisting local communities in and around the OO&PR Opportunity Area who have come together to form the Grand Union Alliance (GUA). There have been a number of meetings of local groups and members of the public, including a Community Conference, which have generated the wide-ranging views and comments contained in the 'compendium'..

"This is substantially the product of local people – that is, apart from the editing process to collate the product into an orderly submission. The document is a faithful summation of their comments prompted by scrutiny of the OAPF draft. The GUA did not make a collective response to the draft Framework, but elements of the compendium and of a standard template were used by individual members and groups in their separate submissions."


'London First': "Notes from MIPIM: London Deputy Mayor Sir Edward Lister on London matching New York’s productivity"

"London First chief executive Jo Valentine sends us her thoughts from the MIPIM property exhibition, south of France" (12 March 2015)

"Ah. I have just come from playing the piano on the Arup yacht!

"Well, and giving a brief speech on 'transport leading to development', followed by a discussion. Victoria Hills, director at the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation, also spoke on the Old Oak Common Mayoral Development Corporation. Both a huge challenge and opportunity. Having both a Crossrail and HS2 station is quite something.

"Ed Lister was in thoroughly good form at our annual bash for about 100 of the leading property people in Cannes.

"He rightly claimed that London had done well on investment in infrastructure and jobs growth during this Mayoral term. However, we are less productive than New York. If we could match their productivity that would equate to 500,000 jobs.

"He referred to the new cultural quarter in Stratford (the one Boris calls Olympicopolis) and how the V & A, UCL and Saddlers Wells moving in were helping to completely redefine the area.

"We talked about how to get house building up. His advice to the next Mayor is 'do more Mayoral Development Corporations'. [That might have stopped the London Borough of Barnet's corrupt Brent Cross Cricklewood planning consent.]

"He also urged everyone to reply to the current consultation on S106 (developer contributions to the wider community) which is suggesting that these should be agreed within 16 weeks (some take as long as two years!)

"Very good tone to the event generally – and pleased that George Iacobescu, chairman and chief executive of Canary Wharf Group, came straight from the airport to attend. (Just in case anyone’s confused by takeover arrangements, he’s very much still in charge!)

"I also saw Claire Kober, leader of Haringey council. All sorts of interesting bits and pieces – making sure we get speedy rail access to Stansted as soon as possible, the football club and its expansion plans, further regeneration plans around Tottenham Hale with a wonderful green lung. Good news on investment in rail access within London (known as the star project).

"On to lunch with Segro. who own land around Old Oak Common; everything connects in MIPIM) – I think the biggest industrial land owner in London; Park Royal and much more, plus what was called the 'Slough Estates' – important connection to Heathrow. [sic]

"A parting thought, since we recently released a report on the truth about the greenbelt – last night someone described the Wormwood Scrubs greenbelt land as a 'dogs’ toilet', which should be traded for some much better open space."


Imperial College: "Imperial Vice Provost to advise on west London regeneration"

Link to web site

"The Mayor of London has invited Professor Debra Humphris to join the newly launched Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC).

"The Corporation will lead the regeneration of Old Oak Common in West London and will seek to deliver up to 24,000 homes and more than 55,000 jobs.

"Professor Humphris, Imperial’s Vice Provost (Education), will inform and advise OPDC on education."


Mayor launches Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation: Surprise members of the Board

1 April 2015

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson will today (Wednesday, April 1) launch the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC).

The Corporation will lead the regeneration of Old Oak Common in West London and will seek deliver up to 24,000 homes and more than 55,000 jobs.

A High Speed 2 (HS2) and Crossrail Station is due to be constructed at Old Oak Common by 2026. The new station will be the size of Waterloo, handling 250,000 passengers a day and acting as a super hub between London and the rest of the UK, Europe and the world.

The OPDC will work to maximise the regeneration potential of the new stations. The Corporation has the support of Government and full planning powers across the entire site straddling the boroughs of Hammersmith & Fulham, Brent and Ealing.

As well as promoting and delivering physical, social, economic and environmental regeneration at Old Oak Common, the Corporation will also safeguard and develop Park Royal as a strategic industrial location and attract long-term investment to the area, including from overseas.

The OPDC will hold its first board meeting today at City Hall. It is chaired by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, with Deputy Mayor for Planning Sir Edward Lister appointed Vice Chair.

The OPDC will take on various statutory powers relating to infrastructure, regeneration and land acquisitions. It will also charge a Community Infrastructure Levy (once it has in place the necessary charging schedule).

Notes to editors:
OPDC Board members
  • Chairman – Boris Johnson, Mayor of London
  • Vice Chairman -  Sir Edward Lister, Deputy Mayor for Planning
  • Chairman of the Planning Committee – Will McKee - Chair of Outer LondonCommission
  • Cllr Muhammed Butt, Leader of Brent Council
  • Cllr Julian Bell, Leader of Ealing Council
  • Cllr Stephen Cowan, Leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council
  • David Prout, Director General High Speed 2 Group, Department for Transport
  • David Biggs, Managing Director, Network Rail
  • Sir Peter Hendy, Commissioner, Transport for London
  • Simon Kirby, Chief Executive, High Speed 2
  • Matthew Pencharz, Senior Advisor for Environment and Energy, Greater London Authority
  • Rahul Gokhale, Chair of the Park Royal Business Group
  • Eric Sorensen, Former Chief Executive of London Docklands Development Corporation and the Millennium Commission
  • Amanda Souter, local resident and chair of Wells House Road Residents Association
  • Prof Debra Humphris, Vice Provost Education at Imperial College London

The OPDC will cover the area encompassing the Park Royal Industrial Estate, Stonebridge Park, Park Royal Cemetery (Acton Cemetery), the core development site at Old Oak, North Acton Underground Station, Willesden Junction underground and overground stations and Wormwood Scrubs Common.

Wormwood Scrubs will continue to be protected by its designation as Metropolitan Open Land and the 1879 Wormwood Scrubs Act. New additional public open spaces are proposed north of Wormwood Scrubs to contribute to meeting the needs and requirements for forthcoming development.

The OPDC will work closely with the three boroughs and all existing businesses across Old Oak Common and Park Royal. This will include working with existing businesses to support potential relocations to protect the businesses and jobs that are so integral to the London economy and the local community."

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