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Ed Lister launches 2015 GreenSkyThinking

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London’s deputy mayor for policy and planning Edward Lister has officially launched this year’s GreenSkyThinking - the week-long, must-attend sustainability showcase

Lister told an audience of more than 120 ‘green’ construction professionals at City Hall this morning that ‘the agenda for improving green infrastructure [was] not just about greening itself but also using it to solve London’s hard economic challenges’.

Launching the event, which begins in earnest next week (22 April), Lister added that London succeeded in attracting global investment because people wanted to live in the capital for all the ‘soft’ reasons -  because ‘it’s a green and pleasant city’. 

While extolling the capital’s virtues, he highlighted the infrastructure and affordable housing challenges which face the city and stated that the funding gap to implement the London Infrastructure Plan 2050 was ‘enormous’. Lister cited six major ‘energy deficiency areas’ across the capital which require £50 million each ‘to put right’ and said that an ‘innovation working group’ was currently exploring new financing solutions.

On the affordable housing crisis, Lister explained that the GLA had identified brownfield sites which could accommodate 450,000 new homes without encroaching on the green belt.  

The key message of the launch was that ‘business as usual’ would not solve London’s infrastructure challenges. Jo Negrini of Croydon Council estimated that while the borough needed more than £800 million of investment to unlock its potential, it had recently been awarded £7 million and was looking to establish its own development company for housing to retain developer profit inhouse.  

James Cameron, chairman of the Overseas Development Institute ( founder and non-executive chairman of Climate Change Capital until earlier this year) noted that hospital and school estates should be part of planning to make London fit for a resilient future.

To celebrate its 5th year, Green Sky Thinking  launched  the Commit5 Campaign   http://www.greenskythinking.org.uk/commit5/index.html, challenging participants to reach beyond their  professional  silos and learn from ‘adjacent’ experts.  Green Sky seminar participants next week will be asked to commit 5 hours in 2015 to cross-sector knowledge exchange.

 

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Readers' comments (1)

  • If Edward Lister thinks that £300M ‘to put right’ energy deficiency is enough, I suggest he find a competent consultant. The GLA's record on ensuring sustainability and resilience for London has been woeful during Ed Lister and Boris Johnson's time at County Hall. London has been falling behind the USA, major European and world cities. A focus on policy and a lack of pragmatic action has characterised recent years.

    Where is the plan for food waste collection and use in generation of biogas?

    Why is the GLA supporting the Thames Tideway Tunnel at a cost to Londoners of £275M a year (probably in perpetuity) when data obtained through Freedom of Information requests to the EA clearly demonstrates that the Tideway already complies with the relevant EU legislation?

    Why does the GLA have separate "Blue Ribbon" and "Green Grid" policies whereas forward thinking cities such as Manchester have a Green and Blue policy that considers the environment holistically?

    Where has an effective housing policy to provide the housing Londoners need and can afford gone? London land and properties have been allowed to become evermore a vehicle to produce capital gain than a sustainable service to and for its people.

    Why does Battersea Power Station not have combined heat and power on site? This project has been Edward Lister's "baby"!

    Why is it thought good policy to offer a loft insulation here and cavity wall insulation there when a street by street, neighbourhood by neighbourhood action plan could have achieved so much more and at a lower cost. The environment cares not if the occupants of a home are rich or poor.

    We have had ‘business as usual’ from the current GLA for far too long and Jo Negrini of Croydon Council has obviously had enough of the GLA's lethargy. Is it time for election of a new mayor when Boris elects to represent Uxbridge as MP so that we can elect a mayor who is serious about the long term sustainability of out capital city?

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