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Future Gazing – City Vision 2050

It's time to re-imagine the future of London.

Gensler’s London office is situated within the City of London, or the square mile as it is so often referred to. For over 25 years we’ve held a long standing commitment to the local community. Located in one of the world’s leading financial and business districts, the City is home to many of our clients, and for the 200 plus Gensler employees who work in London, the ability to participate in local issues, as well as shape conversations from a design perspective, is paramount. So when the City of London Corporation approached us to join their strategic workshops looking at the future of the City of London, we were delighted to get involved.

The ‘City Vision 2050’ initiative has been set up to analyse and assess challenges and opportunities facing the City of London. It will also examine potential solutions and interventions that will ensure the City can continue to deliver world-class services up to 2050.

The Lord Mayor of London, Fiona Woolf recently described the importance of the initiative, saying “Developing a vision for the City of London is an enormously important task which can guide us in delivering a bright future for all our communities.”

Of course, our office is no stranger to gazing into the City’s future. Back in 2012, as part of the London Festival of Architecture Developing Cities Exhibition, we provided thought provoking ideas in a very conceptual way. City Vision 2050 will be a fully documented report presented to the City’s Residents Committee in June 2014; with the aim of directly influencing the City’s future.

The report will consider how the City of London should evolve while respecting the area’s five current mission statements, which are:

  • Be competitive and promote opportunity
  • Provide support for communities
  • Protect, promote and enhance our environment
  • Remain vibrant and culturally rich
  • Get safer and stronger

In April 2014 Gensler orchestrated the workshop session pertaining to Protecting, Promoting and Enhancing the City’s environment. Recognised thought leaders in the field were invited to identify the opportunities, threats and challenges that will face the City over the next few decades. The resulting thoughts were very interesting. According to our workshop, in order to maintain its leading status the City of London has to rethink what makes it a place in which people want to live, work and do business. It has to take on the role of a global business hub and continue reinventing itself as a centre for trade and intensification and diversification were high on the agenda of all the participants, as they considered the growth that London will experience over the next few decades.

For more information on this panel, please watch the following video shot during the workshop.

Michaela leads a multidisciplinary team of urban designers, architects and landscape architects who are dedicated to driving forward our firm’s sustainable urban agenda. Having overseen numerous master planning and urban development projects, from feasibility studies through to the planning and implementation of major strategic master plans, Michaela has accumulated extensive team leading and management skills. Above all Michaela is a committed and talented designer who understands the need for sustainable planning solutions and cross-sector collaboration. Contact her at michaela_winter@gensler.com.

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