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On Wednesday last week (9 December) the Greater London Authority marked the second year anniversary of the London Infrastructure Plan 2050 (LIP2050) with a conference at City Hall attended by the various and varied stakeholders involved in its development.
LIP2050 was the first plan of its kind by the Mayor of London to outline all of London’s infrastructure requirements, from river crossings to raingardens.
Analysis undertaken as part of LIP2050 set the price tag for the various infrastructure projects at £1.3tn, a staggering sum for whoever enters the Mayoral chair come May 2016.
Two years on and City Hall have already made headway on a number of actions set out in LIP2050.
Perhaps the most interesting is the London Infrastructure Map the first version of which was published in August. The Map seeks to set out every current and planned infrastructure-related scheme across London, allowing the user to overlay the projects with population trends, to see how infrastructure improvements relate to changing demographics and densities. Although in its infancy, the map has great potential in promoting both better co-ordination in planning and delivery, both across the public and private sector and sectorally.
Other strands of work have already seen much progress, particularly in sustainable drainage, with the publication of the draft Sustainable Drainage Action Plan, in decentralised energy production with the London Heat Map and in green infrastructure, with the launch of the Green Infrastructure Taskforce’s first report ‘Natural Capital’.
Elsewhere, proposals for large scale transport schemes like Crossrail 2 and various East London river crossing are currently being examined and the Northern Line Extension, which will bring a significant number of jobs and homes to Battersea, began construction only a few weeks ago.
Overall, two years on City Hall is making good progress in implementing the findings and aims of LIP2050. Much depends, however, on the results of the Mayoral and London Assembly Elections in May.
The new Mayor will be particularly important as, unlike other policy areas, infrastructure is an issue which London’s Government does not have full autonomy over. Instead, for the necessary decisions to be made, the next Mayor will need to work with the national government and the local authorities both in and around London to prioritise the most essential projects.
With £1.3tn’s worth of infrastructure improvements on the line, it will be quite some task.
Mike is managing director of Atkins' design and engineering business.