Sharing best practice and understanding the lessons to be learned from successful urban regeneration schemes were the two main focuses of The Future of London Regeneration Conference 2007, which was held at the Institute of Directors in London on Thursday, 3rd May.
Hosted by Berkeley Homes and Hackney Homes, the event brought together a selection of key policy initiators from Central and Regional government as well as speakers from landmark schemes in England, France and Germany in a bid to share expertise and knowledge and discuss new approaches to delivering successful regeneration projects.
Berkeley Homes is passionate about regeneration and in 2004, the developer took the strategic decision to focus its activities on creating successful regeneration projects in London and the South East, working in partnership with London councils. This includes a partnership with Hackney Homes, an Arms Length Management Organisation that manages council homes in the London Borough of Hackney.
In the north of the borough is Woodberry Down, one of the most deprived estates in the area. Over the next 15-20 years the entire area will be transformed, with a total investment of £1 billion creating an environment where people want to live and work. The project uses pioneering concepts in sustainability, environmentally friendly housing and energy efficiency to offer lasting improvements in housing, quality of life, leisure facilities and education for future generations. The planning of the project is complete with some blocks having been demolished to make way for building to commence within the next year.
Key speakers included Alan Riddell, Director of Local Development and Renewal within the Places and Communities Group of Communities and Local Government, Tony Pidgley, Managing Director of the Berkeley Group, David Lunts, Executive Director of Policy & Partnerships at GLA, Steve Tucker, Chief Executive of Hackney Homes, Jon Rouse, Chief Executive of the Housing Corporation and Jamie Carswell, Deputy Mayor of Hackney.
Discussions regarding international regeneration projects included presentations from Ulrich Becker, from Urban Plan GmbH and Pierre Joutard, Deputy Chief Executive of Sem Lyon Confluence.
Delegates were also treated to interactive presentations from three cutting edge regeneration projects in London, which covered Woodberry Down in Hackney, Royal Arsenal in Woolwich and Barking Town Centre and Riverside.
"Berkeley Homes is committed to the regeneration of areas in London and the South East to create sustainable communities offering excellent quality of life. The Future of London Conference has given us the chance to share our knowledge and success with other members of the industry," commented John Anderson, Urban Regeneration Projects Director for Berkeley Homes (East Thames) Ltd.
"This conference has given us the opportunity to keep the big picture in mind. Successful regeneration projects are about much more than building new homes," added Steve Tucker, Chief Executive of Hackney Homes. "We are in a critical and exciting time when sustainability and environmental concerns must feature prominently as part of regeneration plans."
The Deputy Mayor of Hackney and the Conference Chair Jamie Carswell said: "This conference is the first time that London's current flagship housing regeneration projects have come together to discuss large scale regeneration in London. I strongly feel these projects, which are often at the cutting edge of urban regeneration and are essential to the continued success of the London economy are working in isolation. The conference provides a great opportunity to strengthen partnerships and share best practice and lessons learnt".