NLA on Location ‘What next for the Square Mile?’


The CPA partnered with NLA on their annual ‘On Location’ event which examined the future for development and infrastructure in the City of London and how it can maintain its place as the top financial centre. It also provided the opportunity for attendees to look around recently completed developments, such as Stanhope’s and Mutsui Fodosan’s Angel Court. Panel discussions featured CPA President, Mark Ridley and Vice President David Ainsworth.

Following a brief welcome by Peter Murray, Chairman of New London Architecture, Christopher Hayward, Chairman of the City of London Planning and Transportation Committee talked the audience through the latest policy initiatives from the City of London Corporation and what they are doing to make sure the Square Mile maintains its dominant role in the face of global competition.

CPA President, Mark Ridley took part in a panel session looking at why business is attracted to the City. He said that along with the wider factors that make London such a magnet for business, the Square Mile has “so many layers of talent” which make it first port of call for any business wishing to re-locate or scale up to a global level. The panel also mentioned other areas such as ease of transport and pioneering connectivity infrastructure as major factors in making the City so attractive to overseas business.

The leisure in the City panel featured CPA Vice President David Ainsworth talking about the OneCity project and how it’s encouraging people to stay and enjoy the many cultural activities the City has to offer. The other panel members looked at how buildings are being developed with public realm in mind, to make the environment as pleasant as possible and create places people want to visit. The Cultural Mile, a project putting on a great array of events in the Square Mile run by the City of London Corporation was highlighted as a pro-active measure encouraging the public to visit the City.

In other sessions during the morning, the audience were shown a presentation of the new Bloomberg building, which has recently been completed. It provided an exclusive look of the interior, along with an insight into how the building was designed with its location in mind, with the intent of making sure that workers and the public benefit from this new landmark development.

Rob Harris of Ramidus Consulting then presented to the audience facts and figures on what has been happening to the City following the Brexit vote; with some positives, such as the increased investment into Fintech and some that may be damaging to the Square Mile, with the potential loss of jobs in the financial sector being the most damaging for the City.

Head of Design at the City of London Corporation, Gwyn Richards showed the complex 3D modelling techniques that the City Corporation is using to help them determine the best areas to pick for development opportunities. Many factors ranging from sunlight, protected site lines and noise pollution all affect the decisions for building placement. Following this there was a panel discussion which looked at the subject in more detail and deliberated on the potential benefits of rolling out London wide 3D modelling to help inform planning decisions.

After the morning panel discussions, guests were invited on walking tours of the City and a drinks reception in the new Angel Court Development.