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London calling

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Awards night for the RIBA London Region takes place today (Thursday) at the institute, and will be the occasion for an update on the region's planning initiative for the capital. A draft document, due to be printed shortly, outlines the region's view about how the Greater London Authority could significantly improve the quality of architecture and the built environment in the capital. The document says that planning analysis of any scheme should focus on the extent to which it contributes to, or detracts from, the immediate context, the area context, the borough context and, ultimately, the London context.

Instead of prescriptive rules, designers should be able to demonstrate the strength of their proposals with reference to their contextual value - not the same thing as making everything look the same as the building next door. With the Greater London Authority busy working on elements to be included in its forthcoming 'spatial development strategy' (structure plan to you and me), the RIBA initiative is nothing if not timely.

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