Essay collection

Making Good: Shaping Places for People

A collection of essays by leading planners, academics, developers and practitioners which outline the priorities and principles of placemaking in London.

London is facing a new wave of growth. Its population is growing fast and city needs to grow to accommodate it. But though increasing the number of homes is critical, placemaking matters too. Creating successful, inclusive, sustainable communities will pay dividends down the centuries.

New ideas to ensure quality of place

Creating vibrant and successful places is a complex and challenging process. In this new essay collection, industry experts discuss some of the common challenges within the sector and identify new ways we can ensure quality of place across London:

  • Euan Mills, of Future Cities Catapult’s Future of Planning Programme suggests that adoption of technologies – for example, the use of 3D modelling – could not only improve engagement with communities but also the responsiveness of the planning system, by using real-time data outputs to inform long-term policies.
  • Daisy Froud, a strategist who specialises in community engagement, makes the case for reviving Popular Planning to try to rebalance the relationship between strategic economic planning and localised decision-making.
  • Finn Williams, Regeneration Area Manager, Greater London Authority, outlines the mayor’s plans to launch Public Practise, a new initiative to build local authority planning capacity by offering local authorities talented planning practitioners for year-long placements at affordable rates.
  • Sadie Morgan, chair of the Independent Design Panel for HS2, argues that design panels allow for improvement of design through peer critique of projects, and are a simple way of capturing a diverse skill set and harnessing creative potential.

The full list of contributors in this collection of essays includes:

  • Richard Brown, Research Director, Centre for London
  • Robert Bevan, Architecture critic, Evening Standard
  • Neale Coleman, Partner, Blackstock Partnership
  • Daisy Froud, Community Engagement Strategist
  • Kat Hanna, Research Manager, Centre for London
  • Indy Johar, CEO Dark Matter Laboratories, & Executive Director Project CEO
  • Dan Labbad, Chief Executive Officer, International Operations, Lendlease
  • Sadie Morgan, Co-founding Director, dRMM Architects / Design Chair at HS2
  • Euan Mills, Urban Design and Planning Lead at Future Cities Catapult
  • Jules Pipe, Deputy Mayor of London for Planning, Regeneration and Skills
  • Finn Williams, Regeneration Area Manager at the Greater London Authority
  • Ben Rogers, Director, Centre for London
  • Alan Penn, Dean of the Bartlett faculty of the built environment, UCL


This publication was generously supported by