NLA's two-part series of Public Realm conferences concluded on Thursday 21 May with a thought-provoking debate on the future of London's 'Breathing Spaces'.
A selection of high profile speakers, including Sam Richards, Head of Urban Integration at Crossrail, Robert Shaw, Associate Director at AECOM and Alison Barnes, London Director at Natural England discussed the opportunities and challenges surrounding public spaces in London. Topics included an assessment of the opportunities represented by new Crossrail stations, the role of public spaces in responding to and helping to stabilise climate change, and the future of sustainable and people-friendly public spaces in the City.
The conference was chaired by David Ubaka, Head of Urban Realm Design at Transport for London, who summed up the morning by discussing the opportunities posed by a more connected green public realm, with a stronger link to London's Green Belt, and called for a lobby to propose for a proper funding system for our public realm.
The first Public Realm conference, which took place on Tuesday 12 May, focused on the topic of 'Placemaking' with a packed programme of speakers who covered a broad selection of case studies including Exhibition Road, Waterloo City Sqaure, High Street 2012 and Crystal Palace Park.