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Wednesday23 July 2014

London leaves design out in the cold

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The loss of Design for London could yet rebound on politicians

Ellis Woodman

Ellis Woodman- Executive Editor

With consultation processes ongoing, the future of Design for London remains far from certain, but there is scarce indication that the changes being mooted will give design considerations greater weight at the Greater London Authority.

The mayor’s Design Advisory Group — reinitiated at the end of last year — now looks set to be London’s best hope of ensuring that the capital’s development is considered in anything but the most pragmatic terms. It is bad news for London but it may yet prove a political misstep too.

At the last mayoral election, projects undertaken as part of the DfL-managed Outer London Fund were instrumental in persuading voters living on the capital’s periphery that Boris Johnson had their interests at heart too. In the present climate there is no shortage of voices saying design is a luxury we can’t afford, but politicians presenting themselves for election may yet come to appreciate the cost of that mistake.

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