In commercial areas such as London Bridge, where the business community dwarfs the residential population by around 10:1, there is a legitimate need for businesses to be recognised in the way change is planned and managed in their neighbourhood.
In an unprecedented step in UK planning policy development, Southwark Council invited Team London Bridge, a Business Improvement District (BID), to consult on and inform the relevant local section of their borough wide ‘New Southwark Plan’. In doing so the local authority recognised London Bridge as predominantly a business community and endorsed the BID’s viability to relate the business agenda to the requirements of residents and London as a whole.
The London Bridge Plan gives a local context to the perennial issues of transport, competitiveness, employment, environment, and CSR, and takes inspiration from global successes in urban place making.
The achievements of BIDs in the UK over the past 10 years has created a mechanism for business communities to reach out, research and articulate their needs and ambitions for their area.
Through a consultation process of workshops, surveys, site visits and online forums, four main principles of Identity, Economy, Place Shaping, and Partnerships were identified for London Bridge. Over an 18 month process a series of policies and projects were refined within this context to deliver a vision of establishing a ‘globally significant, historic and vibrant place of modern commerce, enterprise and creativity’.
The fast paced change in London Bridge will see a brand new national rail station delivered in 2018 at the foot of The Shard, providing a once in a generation opportunity to connect all of the disparate locations around this exceptionally busy transport hub. The London Bridge Plan identifies four main character areas that share heritage, building use and styles of architecture, and has then looked at common issues that can be addressed throughout using innovative place making strategies.