RTPI London Launches ‘Kaleidoscope City’ in Honour of its Centenary

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) in London and Colliers International celebrated one hundred years of professional town planning last night with the launch of a new publication, Kaleidoscope City: Reflections on Planning and London.

How should London accommodate the two million new residents anticipated by 2030 when England is nationally building less than 100,000 new homes per year? What are the impacts of growth likely to be on Britain’s great provincial cities, or the grain of local development and occupation in London itself? Kaleidoscope City is the first publication to exclusively unveil the manifestos of the most celebrated practitioners and theorists in the built environment today to tackle these questions, including:

  • Duncan Bowie, author of Ken Livingstone’s planning and housing study under his Mayoralty
  • Paul Cheshire, Emeritus Professor at LSE, who has advised eminent bodies including European Commission, World Bank, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, United Nations and the British Government
  • Michèle Dix, Managing Director of Planning at TfL, responsible for leading the future transport needs of London, and the city’s future transport strategy
  • Terry Farrell CBE, Design Advisor to London’s Mayor, Boris Johnson, advisor to the Department for Transport on high speed rail, and Design Champion for the Thames Gateway
  • Richard Florida, American urban studies theorist with a focus on social and economic theory. Professor and Head of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto
  • Sir Peter Hall, Professor at UCL and author/editor of 50 books on planning and related topics. Named by Queen Elizabeth II as a ‘Pioneer in the Life of the Nation’ in 2003 and knighted in 1998 for services to the Town and Country Planning Association
  • Colin Haylock, Past-President of the RTPI and appointed Member of the London Mayor’s Design Advisory Group, advising Mayor, Boris Johnson to April 2016.
  • Stewart Murray, Assistant Director for Planning at the Greater London Authority, responsible for the Mayor of London’s planning function
  • Liz Peace CBE, Chief Executive, British Property Federation. During her time at the BPF, the organisation has successfully lobbied for innumerable changes to planning and tax legislation
  • Lord Richard Rogers, Chair of the Government’s Urban Task Force on the state of English cities in 1998; design advisor to Boris Johnson. He is a winner of the RIBA Gold Medal, the Thomas Jefferson Medal, the RIBA Stirling Prize, the Minerva Medal and Pritzker Prize
  • Nikos A. Salingaros, mathematician and polymath known for his harsh critical analysis of conventional modern architecture, who proposes using mathematics to derive human-scale design rules for a sustainable built environment
  • Shaun Spiers, Chief Executive of the Campaign to Protect Rural England
  • Peter Stewart, former Director of the design review programme at CABE, and townscape consultant on major projects in London and beyond
  • Peter Tyler, Professor at the University of Cambridge. He has project directed over 60 major research projects for the Government

The collection of 25 essays has been commissioned, edited and published by Jonathan Manns, a prominent British Urbanist and Associate Director, Planning at global property advisors, Colliers International, in conjunction with the RTPI London. Manns is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Urban Regeneration & Renewal and has commented extensively in Europe, Asia and the USA. He sits on various professional committees in London and internationally, as well as being an RTPI Ambassador, Expert Advisor to Grand Designs Live and Trustee of the London Society. Kaleidoscope City is now available in both printed and electronic formats.

Championed by Sir Edward Lister and internationally well-received, the launch of Kaleidoscope City commences a year of special centenary events which will debate and discuss present and future issues in the planning of the capital, a hundred years after the founding of the RTPI and 70 years after the Greater London Plan published by Sir Patrick Abercrombie.

The RTPI London will also be holding monthly themed events and study tours, based on the content of Kaleidoscope City, focusing on a range of issues including housing, infrastructure, urban resilience and suburbs/green belt culminating; in an annual planning summit in November 2014 that will look towards the next 100 years of planning in London.

Tom Venables, Chair, RTPI London, said:

“Positive planning has never been so high on the Government’s agenda and for this reason, Kaleidoscope City has been launched to drive debate so that we may achieve a more prosperous economy for the region and the country as a whole. We will be looking at the legacy of this document and, given the commencement of the London Plan Review next year, will be considering ideas for a new Abercrombie plan in the future. We are looking forward to an exciting year filled with events to celebrate the achievements of planning over the past 100 years and those that have made it possible.”

Jonathan Manns, Associate Director, Planning, at Colliers International, said:

“All those with, not only a professional, but a personal interest in the growth and development of the cities in which they live will find much to stimulate their thinking in this book. It directly tackles and steers debate on the emotive and critically tough questions the UK currently faces regarding the design and development of its cities, with particular regard to London. Thanks are deserving of all contributors for providing such stimulating content, each element of which offers significant opportunity for discussion and provides a new energy to issues at the global, national and local level.”