Darren Price was asked by New London Architecture's magazine New London Quarterly, What is the best Christmas present London's built environment could wish for?
Darren's thoughts on this are not just for Christmas...they are important throughout the whole year...
"Our capital's greatest asset is the nature of its historical development. The slowdown of globalisation is allowing architects to examine their role and relationship with the built environment, and London must grasp the opportunity to lead the way towards a carbon-positive world. We need clear, joined-up ESG policies to prioritise the development of the many empty buildings in the capital, most being worthy of some degree of restoration, with a holistic and quantifiable toolbox to ensure new development achieves maximum retention of our significant heritage-the characterful and contextual buildings which make London so unique. We need to encourage clients, engineers, architects and designers to see restoration and refurbishment as the optimum solution to decarbonisation, achieving robust energy efficiencies and net zero ambitions.
In parallel, London needs an efficient planning system with a clear and realistic retrofit policy which addresses all building typologies and scales, with the local appetite to lead global aspirations of sustainability and building conservation. We need a policy of incentives, and we need to reflect on the story of London and take our rich history into the future, contextually, socially, economically and environmentally. All parties in the sector can lead the way out of a climate crisis and steer away from a point of irreversibility, and London can provide the shining (Christmas) light into 2023 and beyond."
Published in the NLQ, issue 53, Q1 2023