New plan for Waverley Station, Edinburgh

Consultations with stakeholders will take place this autumn on the Waverley Station Masterplan that is being led by Arup with a group of highly experienced professionals for Scotland's second busiest station. Led in partnership by Network Rail and City of Edinburgh Council, the Waverley Masterplan will take shape over the next 12 months and will consider future growth at the station, the impact of city centre developments, urban planning trends and how Waverley can be enhanced to support and encourage the success of Scotland's capital city. Arup's team of experts will include Grimshaw Architects as well as Allan Murray Architects, real estate experts, JLL, cost consultants Gardiner and Theob

200th anniversary of Prado foundation

Portrait by Goya on display in The National Gallery, London Madrid's famous Museo Nacional del Prado is putting on an extensive programme of activities to mark its 200 years since the foundation began in 1819. The museum states that it is 'offering a survey of its history that focuses on the dialogue between the Museum and society, heritage policies in Spain'. It also wants to highlight the trends that have guided the growth of the museum's collection and its transformation into a place that has allowed Spanish and foreign writers, intellectuals and artists to reflect on the country's past and its collective identity. Last January at RIBA in London we invited Charles Saumarez Smith, Chief E

Grimshaw evolves modular construction

Grimshaw / SG Blocks Innovation Centre Grimshaw Architects has partnered with a leading designer of container-based products in a continued move towards concentrating on modular methods of construction. SG Blocks is providing tested container technology to complement Grimshaw's design vision across current and future projects. The projects will cover projects of all typologies, from housing to galleries. 'SG Blocks is at the forefront of innovating in the modular space. The firm's vision and ability to be sustainable and efficient truly resonates with us and we are thrilled to be partnering with such a pioneering disruptor of the construction space', said Andrew Whalley, Deputy Chairman, G

'A new spitfire for the British railway'

Karen Boswell, Managing Director for Hitachi Rail has talked of building an iconic train for the future in a team-up with Bombardier UK with a tendering process to begin later this year and award in 2019. The two firms which employ over 5,000 people have confirmed that they intend to submit a joint bid to design, build and deliver a fleet of bespoke state of the art high speed trains for HS2. Built on recent high speed success in Italy, with the ETR 1000 also known as the RED Arrow, the new trains will run between the UK's largest cities with faster journeys and encouraging economic growth. The bid will support the UK government's aim of boosting UK jobs, skills and the British supply chain.

Planning permission for performance spaces at Woolwich

Royal Arsenal Riverside pier with Thames Clipper at night - proposed theatre venue to right of picture Greenwich Council's ambitious plans to create a landmark destination for the arts in Woolwich's Royal Arsenal has come a step closer with planning permission now granted for the first phase of multi-million pound restoration of historic military buildings. It will create a 15,000 square metre heritage complex of theatres, dance studios and restaurants, all set between the Thames and the soon to be opened new Crossrail station. Three of the Grade 11 Listed amunitions factories are to be converted and the redevelopment of the historic site is set to create 400 jobs with visitors pouring into

Barcelona - the end of the tourism dream?

Barcelona town hall. Is the party over for Barcelona? The successful campaign to position the Catalan city as a mecca for art lovers and tourists has started to create a crisis for residents and politicians alike. At our most recent forum with the Mayor of London's Chief Digital Officer, Theo Blackwell, we discussed how residents were starting to use data to monitor noise levels in the residential areas of the Spanish city. Noise is just one problem of the tourism invasion that is a result of a very popular and successful campaign by Barcelona to attract visitors in their millions. The Daily Telegraph this month reported that 15 million visitors arrived in the city last year but the problems

TfL - new offices and retail for London stations

New development is gathering pace in connection to the Elizabeth Line which will transform journeys across London from Abbey Wood in the south east to Heathrow and beyond in the west - providing new offices and retail for the capital. TfL has signed an agreement to build a new complex above London's Elizabeth Line Farringdon Station with developer HB Reavis.. TfL's Director of Commercial Development, Graeme Graig stated: 'With the arrival of the Elizabeth line, Farringdon will become one of the best connected places in London...the Elizabeth line schemes are directly opening up opportunities for new homes and jobs and could raise £500 million to reinvest in London's transport network. Grosve

Innovative house building and modern mortgage lending

Paul Broadhead, Head of Mortgage Policy, Building Societies Association has been providing expert knowledge at our panel discussion this week on modern methods of construction and mortgage lending. In the video clip above Paul describes the vital challenge of defining MMC and of changing perceptions around innovation in house building. He joined Victoria Stubbs, Chief Risk Officer from the Cambridge Building Society and Professor Nick Whitehouse of Oxford Brookes University. Paul stated that the BSA has been calling for an expansion in housing supply for some time, as governments have consistently under-achieved on housing delivery. 'We have a growing and ageing population, high immigration

Modern methods of construction and mortgages

Cambridge Building Society has been speaking at Future Cities Forum about the need for assurance and education around the build quality in modern methods of construction. Please watch Chief Risk Officer, Victoria Stubbs speaking above about the importance of linking infrastructure to housing - a subject that we covered with the NIC in our May forum at City Hall, London. Professor Nick Whitehouse a senior lecturer from Oxford Brookes University joined our panel discussion this week in the City of London on behalf of the organisation, Buildoffsite, to talk about devising a benchmark of common warranty and insurance standards that lenders can reference when considering mortgage applications on

Re-purposing military buildings for cultural tourism

Perhaps the thought of spending your summer holiday in a damp, dark fortress doesn't appeal however celebrating historic assets has been something the Spanish government has been highly adept at in re-purposing military buildings to boost its cultural tourism offer. Try Pedro the Cruel's castle in Carmona for a stay and enjoy the series of Arabic style court yards that you pass through before checking into a bedroom with sweeping views across the plains. Or enjoy the fusion of military ramparts with contemporary architecture at La Fortalesa de Sant Julia de Ramis, north of Girona dating from the 19th century completely renovated by Fuses Viader Architects. The fort is now a 15 bedroom bouti

Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair builds community

Freya Buckler: Upside Brocket Gallery has invited Future Cities Forum to run discussions on the cultural quarter theme at the three day Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair, to be held this November at the Royal Arsenal in the London borough of Greenwich. Famous names such as Tracy Emin and Grayson Perry as well as the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers are among the exhibitors taking part in this the third year of the art fair, which is the only event in London to deal solely in contemporary print making. The fair is a member of the Creative Industries Federation and a founding partner of the Woolwich Creative District (London) Brocket Gallery, based in South London, which provides a platfor

Mortgage innovation offers a fairer housing market

Hodge Lifetime and the mortgage broker, John Charcol, have been speaking at our first filmed panel discussion this week in our new series on mortgage industry innovation and the housing market. We are running this series of filmed talks to follow on from our focus on the housing crisis at our previous events. Rachel Fisher, Head of Regeneration and Infrastructure at the Ministry of Housing, Local Government and Communities will be speaking at our October 10 forum in London on how new housing, infrastructure and jobs will have to be closely aligned in the Cambridge-Milton-Keynes-Oxford corridor and UK regions. Steve Cox, Business Development Director, Hodge Lifetime, said at the filmed discu

Road, rail and air - joined up infrastructure and housing moves forward in the Midlands

At our City Hall conference in May, with the NIC Chief Executive, Phil Graham, as our key speaker, the discussions centred on the vision for joined up infrastructure, housing and jobs, with Lynda Shillaw of MAG Property showcasing the new city being created around the Manchester airport site. We focus in this blog on the important developments that are currently taking place in the east Midlands involving both road, rail and airport logistics expansion along with the building of much needed housing. Work is underway on the nationally significant infrastructure project on the East Midlands Gateway in Leicestershire. Key components of the scheme include an international freight terminal, 6 mil

New architecture for Open House 2018

Here East (above - designed by Hawkins Brown) is central to redeveloping the Stratford / Olympic Park cultural quarter of London with investments from Loughborough University, BT Sport and UCL / The Bartlett. The US Embassy, the Aga Khan Centre and The Bartlett's new site at Here East are all to be included in this year's Open House 2018 to take place this September. A pop out map sponsored by Old Oak Park Royal Development Corporation revealing its new developments will be available to pick up on site. Future Cities Forum's inaugural event in 2016 featured The Bartlett's Professor of Places and City Planning, Peter Rees talking about the future of London and the challenges of tall building

London's food markets forced to look for new home

London's famous markets Billingsgate (fish), Smithfield (meat and poultry) and New Spitalfields (fruit, vegetables and flowers) if they are to survive, need to find a new 100 acre site where they can be consolidated into one area, according to the City of London Corporation. The architecture of Covent Garden featured in the photograph above points to the importance of established markets in London and in this particular area since the 1650's. Charles Fowler's classical building was erected in 1830 and then Floral Hall, Charter Market and in 1904 the Jubilee Market. 1960's traffic congestion forced the market out to Nine Elms in 1974. As London evolves as a expanding capital for commerce, cul

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