The Urbanism Hour / Urban Resilience
March 12, 2021 @ 13:00 – 14:00 GMT
Join us (almost) every Friday at 1pm GMT. This event series is free to AoU Members and carries a small charge for non-Members. Why not become a member to join the talks for free?
This week we will be joined by two speakers who will speak about the rapid urban changes that came about as a result of Covid lockdowns and the way these might change policy forever.
Evolving Regent Street
Head of Public Realm and Urban Infrastructure, The Crown Estate
Scott will discuss how In October, The Crown Estate and Westminster City Council unveiled interim plans for Regent Street, to help deliver a greener, safer and more accessible West End. These plans are initially designed to respond to the need for more pavement space on Regent Street, to accommodate safe social distancing, and replace the temporary barriers. This has also allowed us to think about how we can move the story on, and what experiences people want when they come to the west end in the future. The plans have been designed on a trial basis, and will be in place for an initial 18 month period, when we welcome feedback .. These plans are just one step in our ongoing investment in Regent Street, to continue evolving and improving Regent Street for everyone. Beyond this, we are keen to continue working closely with Westminster City Council, Transport for London and our customers and stakeholders, to continue evolving this important destination, and build. on this interim solution.
Scott is an urban designer, civil engineer, public realm and transport specialist who is passionate about improving the quality of life in our cities through better quality buildings, streets, places and spaces. He is an advocate of the importance of partnership, collaboration and learning from others to help shape London’s public realm into more accessible, healthier, and sustainable places to the benefit of all. Scott is responsible for the strategic direction and programme of public realm and infrastructure projects across The Crown Estate’s holdings in Regent Street and St James’s. He was previously Director of Public Realm at Grosvenor.
Our urban challenge, how has Covid opened the door to new urban policy?
Director of Urban Design London
Esther will describe the diverse ideas that came from the Urban Design Challenge which began in spring 2020. She observes that during lockdown it was like someone had pushed a turbo charge button for all sorts of great urban ideas that had not had a chance to be tested. The UDL arranged a well-attended series of events where a varied groups of built environment experts presented their ideas. These ideas were then expanded by workshops and “stress testers” to produce a series of policy ideas in January this year . The topic headings are City Structures, Living Local , Buildings and Community.
Esther Kurland is a planner and urban designer. She worked for 10 years in local authorities in policy, development control and design and conservation planning posts. Esther then moved to the GLA where she worked on the built environment aspects of the first London Plan before moving to CABE to lead on planning issues in 2003. Esther has been Director of UDL since 2005. She has worked to develop and improve UDL’s programme, working closely with core partners TfL, the GLA, London boroughs to support and encourage good design in the capital. Esther has been part of a wide range of Design Review panels, steering groups and advisory committees. Through these she has learnt from, and helped improve, all sorts of projects including Crossrail stations, Thames Tunnel’s new riverside mini parks, council housing estate renewal projects and historic garden improvements, major town centre improvements and street redesigns.
This event is chaired by Alistair Barr, Chair of Barr Gazetas, a director of The Academy of urbanism and Lead assessor for The Great Street Award.