What can nature do for your city?

There is a growing call to incorporate green infrastructure within new and existing developments. Natural assets clean the air and water, reduce flood risk, and help regulate climate at both micro and macro scales; they also improve quality of life and raise real estate values accordingly. Green infrastructure can take various forms, from green roofs and […]

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Visualizing London’s infrastructure with GIS

Screen shot from the GLA’s Infrastructure Mapping Application for London  As chair of the Urban Land Institute’s Infrastructure Council, I recently hosted a presentation at London City Hall, in which Jeremy Skinner, Greater London Authority (GLA) head of economic growth & enterprise, Andrew McMunnigal, GLA senior policy and projects officer for infrastructure, and Paul Hodgson, […]

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Could a global capital become a national park?

I returned to the UK in October last year having spent a few years working for AECOM in Australia. I had lost the ‘discussion’ with my wife on city versus country living. We returned to our house in South West London. It was cold, wet, dark and the commuting seemed a lot worse than I […]

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Olympic legacies: #melbourne2024?

For one month every four years, the world is utterly enthralled by sport. The BBC reports that its coverage of the 2012 London Games was watched by 90 percent of the UK population, delivering what has been described as the ‘largest TV audiences since the pre-digital age’ – and that’s just the home nation! Global figures […]

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Green infrastructure for a growing London

Over the next 35 years, London’s population is estimated to grow by over one third to 11.27 million people in 2050. Not only does this present huge challenges for housing delivery – an additional 16,000 completions per annum to meet the Greater London Authority’s (GLA) target of 42,000 homes a year – but it also raises critical […]

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Do our cities need more icons?

This was the subject of a discussion convened by AECOM at the Center for Architecture during the opening week of our Urban SOS exhibition. We invited a small group of thinkers and observers of the built environment in New York to discuss the topic with four of AECOM’s design leaders. Jacinta McCann, global lead for […]

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A step forward in London’s airport debate

Image courtesy of Heathrow Airports Ltd. The commission examining options to expand London’s airport capacity has eliminated the proposal for a new airport in the Thames Estuary put forward by Fosters + Partners. In an article in the Architects Journal, Christopher Choa, principal, urban design + planning, AECOM, commented: “The Mayor should be applauded for […]

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Vertical schools

Do you remember the days of the old school yard? Wide open quadrangles, modest, single-storey buildings, tuckshops offering the sort of fare that wouldn’t pass the sensors of today’s nutritiously-conscious parents? Times certainly have changed, not just in terms of what students are learning and eating, but the environments where they’re learning. Increasingly, the design […]

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Mixed use can be a mixed bag

Photo by Dixi Carrillo The Australian Bureau of Statistics forecasts that the populations of Sydney and Melbourne will grow to 7.8 million each by 2052, a respective increase of 66 percent and 86 percent over a 40 year period. Such rapid growth prompts some obvious questions, the answers to which are less obvious: Where and […]

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The business cluster effect

I was recently invited by Centre for Cities to participate in a panel discussion about the formation of business clusters. The event was held as part of the launch of McKinsey & Co’s new report: “Industrial Revolutions? – The Shape of Clusters Across the UK”. As a group, we tried to address a number of […]

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