DD2405 Good Growth by Design – budget allocation

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Code: 
DD2405
Date signed: 
17 October 2019
Decision by: 
Debbie Jackson, Interim Executive Director of Development, Enterprise and Environment

Executive summary

Approval is sought for expenditure to fund the delivery of the Good Growth by Design (GGbD) Programme in financial year 2019/20. In addition to core budget the programme draws on budgets from teams across the GLA to co-fund a range of research streams.

Decision

That the Executive Director for Development, Enterprise & Environment approves:

Expenditure of £87,200 in 2019/20 to enable the delivery of the Good Growth by Design (GGbD) programme and the associated budget transfers noted at paragraph 1.4. This expenditure comprises:

• £17,000 to fund the Mayor’s Design Advocates to support design research and advocacy work;
• £38,000 consultancy services to further develop and complete the London Housing Design Guidance (LHDG) and a further £7,000 to undertake associated consultation activities;
• £10,200 to communicate the GGbD programme including launch events, the consolidation of key outputs and achievements in a final publication and the preparation of a short film for a public audience; and
• £15,000 to produce the Children’s Independent Mobility GGbD inquiry report and develop specific guidance to assist further with associated London Plan policy implementation and assessment of child friendly city design considerations.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

Good Growth by Design (GGbD) is the Mayor’s programme to promote a built environment that is socially and economically inclusive and environmentally sustainable. It recognises the role of design in improving development and delivering quality of life in an ever-denser city. It draws on existing design and place-shaping expertise by engaging with the built environment profession not least through the use of 50 Mayor’s design advocates (MDAs).

The programme covers six pillars of activity:

i. Setting Standards: using design inquiries to investigate key issues for architecture, urban design and place-shaping, to set clear policies and standards in support of the London Plan and other Mayoral strategies and initiatives;
ii. Applying Standards: ensuring effective design review and scrutiny across the GLA and London more widely, including the establishment of the London Review Panel;
iii. Building Capacity: enhancing the GLA Group’s and boroughs’ ability and resource to shape new development to deliver good growth;
iv. Supporting Diversity: working towards a more representative sector and supporting the design of a more inclusive built environment;
v. Commissioning quality: ensuring excellence in how the Mayor and other public-sector clients appoint and manage architects and other built environment professionals; and
vi. Championing Good Growth: advocating best practice to support success across the sector.

Fifty MDAs have been appointed onto individual frameworks (under DD2105) for a period of up to 4 years following an open procurement exercise administered by TfL Procurement. MDAs will be called off when required to provide advisory services to specific briefs across all 6 pillars of the programme. They were chosen based on their skills and experience to help the Mayor support London’s growth. They include practitioners, academics, policymakers and those from community-led initiatives, and bring experience from both the public and private sector. Fifty per cent of advocates are women, and one in four are from an ethnic minority background.

The GGbD is funded via a core budget of £56,000 per annum (as part of the budget setting process for 2017-18 and subsequent years); of which approval is sought here for expenditure of £34,200. In addition to which the programme draws on budgets from teams across the GLA to co-fund a range of research streams. On this occasion the receipt of £30,000 from Planning team budgets will fund the delivery of aspects of Housing Design Guidance. A further receipt of £15,000 from Education and Youth will support the delivery of the Child friendly Cities Workstream

Approval is sought for expenditure to fund the delivery of remaining aspects of the GGbD Programme in financial year 2019/20.

Objectives and expected outcomes

Several outputs will be delivered across the 6 pillars of the programme in financial year 2019/20, many of which are being developed in collaboration with business units across the GLA and as such will draw on both the GGbD budget and other team budgets. Programme wide activities are described below – those aspects seeking approval are set out in bold.

As part of Pillar 1 – Setting Standards, several inquiries and design research activities are taking place. Each will provide evidence and information to inform policy, investments and decision-making. Each research activity will call on the assistance of Mayor’s Design Activities to help set briefs and develop research outputs and to advocate key findings to the built environment sector on behalf of the Mayor. MDAs provide their time on a discounted day rate of £400 per day. Approval is sought for 42.5 days of MDA activity at a cost of up to £17,000. MDA time is allocated across the different work streams by the GGbD programme manager as required.

Design inquiries underway include:

• London Housing Design Guidance - The GLA Regen team have commissioned consultants to undertake and finalise contributory studies to develop London Housing design guidance. To include a methodology for determining optimum density at both the plan making and site scale; guidance on the preparation of design codes for small sites and a refresh of the London housing design quality standards. A significant number of case studies will be used to illustrate the guidance. An upfront primer document will serve to communicate the aspirations of the guidance and the benefits of higher density living to a public non-technical audience. All modules being published as pre-consultation drafts in December 2019. The research was commissioned Under DD 2242 in Financial year 2018/9. Following agreement with the Deputy Mayor for Regeneration, Planning and Skills and Deputy Mayor for Housing. Approval is sought for expenditure associated with a revised and expanded brief and associated production expenditure at an additional cost of up to £38,000. This will draw on both GGbD and Planning team budgets. Approval is also sought for a further £7,000 of GGbD budget to support public consultation. The Planning Team are contributing £30,000 in FY 2019/20.
• Public London Charter - Research is ongoing by consultants to add detail to the policy D7G set out in the draft London Plan that calls for development to provide public space that maximises public access and minimises rules governing public space. AD 2271 approved £20,000 to undertake this Public London Evidence Base study and will be processed in Financial Year 19/20.
• Child-friendly City - Research is ongoing by consultants to inform the implementation of Mayoral policy and related strategies that contribute to the creation of a child friendly London. MD 2361 approved £25,000 for undertaking this report. Approval for expenditure of £15,000 is sought to produce the Children’s Independent Mobility GGbD inquiry report and develop specific guidance to assist further with associated London Plan policy implementation and assessment of child friendly city design considerations.
• Social infrastructure - Research will be commissioned to undertake a study on London’s social infrastructure to assess current planning and delivery processes and identify innovative models of provision. The research will support the Mayor’s Good Growth objective of a more inclusive city through evidencing the contribution of social infrastructure to social integration and identifying how future investment, social policy and planning processes can support this. DD2377 approves £100,000 to undertake this work.
• Adaptive strategies for London’s High Streets - Research is being undertaken to inform the development of the High Streets Investment Strategy and deliver on London Plan commitment to deliver guidance to boroughs and others on the production of town centre strategies. It is intended to issue the report in November 2019.
• Industrial intensification - Guidance to support the intensification of industrial land and greater efficiency in the use of industrial space as promoted by the draft London Plan is being developed. This includes reviewing typological and related design research commissioned by the GLA, reviewing emerging designs of a colocation exemplar project, and providing design advice for several masterplans delivering colocation and intensification.
• Circular Economy - Guidance is being developed responding to the draft London Plan commitment that all referable applications submit a ‘circular economy statement’. An initial primer will be launched in the Autumn 2019 with the Guidance document being launched alongside the adopted London Plan in the summer of 2020.

As part of Pillar 2 - Applying Standards, mechanisms are being further established to provide scrutiny of Mayoral investments and increasingly strategic planning referrals. The London Review Panel (LRP) (established via GGbD) is City Hall’s design review panel and is populated by MDAs and, where necessary, other external experts. It is primarily focused on providing design scrutiny to projects funded by the Mayor, many of which do not go through a formal planning process. Expenditure associated with this pillar is covered in DD2739 – Enhanced Design Scrutiny arrangements.

As part of Pillar 3 - Building Capacity, mechanisms are being further established to understand, and to help build and support for local authority place shaping capacity. Approval is not being sought for any associated expenditure in 2019/20.

As part of Pillar 4 - Supporting Diversity, several initiatives have been supported to address under-representation of minority groups and women in the built environment sector. This includes the recent launch, June 2019 of the ‘Supporting Diversity Handbook’ that builds on this evidence and provides practical recommendations for what the sector, institutions and the GLA can pro-actively do to enable change. DAR 011 approved £2,500 for ‘Celebrating Architecture’ to provide workshops with school children from diverse backgrounds to address the pipeline issue of architecture.

As part of Pillar 5 - Commissioning quality, work is being supported to promote good procurement and access the best design and built environment practitioners to achieve Good Growth. Current work within this pillar includes an internal review of GLA team design management and review procedures is underway. Commissioning teams are being supported to prepare Design quality management protocols within which review processes will be embedded. ADD2324 approved budget of £20,000 for this output.

As part of Pillar 6 - Championing Good Growth, significant advocacy work has been undertaken by MDAs and Advocate Organisations engaging on behalf of the Mayor across London, nationally and internationally. A critical focus for 2019/2020 is to communicate programme achievements and disseminate outcomes and key recommendations through the wider GLA group, the MDA network and through advocate organisations. £10,200 of GGbD budget will be utilised in financial year 2019/20 to communicate the programme, including the consolidation of key outputs and achievements in a final publication and the preparation of a short film for a public audience.

Equality comments

Under section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, the GLA is subject to a public-sector equality duty (“the Duty”) and must have ‘due regard’ to the need to (i) eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation; (ii) advance equality of opportunity between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not; and (iii) foster good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not. Protected characteristics under section 149 of the Equality Act are age, disability, gender re-assignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, and marriage or civil partnership status.

Throughout the process relating to the approvals sought in this paper; due regard has been had to the legislation outlined above. Through the preparation of the programme and all research and communication strands, the GLA will require partners to evaluate the potential impacts regarding protected characteristic groups. Any project must minimise disadvantages to all protected characteristic groups within society.

All staff involved and all partners are asked to outline the impact their projects will have on the proposed beneficiaries, and how, if applicable, they propose to minimise disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics and take steps to meet the needs of people from protected groups where these are different from the needs of other people. These responses will be captured in individual grant agreements as part of an agreed Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion approach for each individual project.

As a condition of funding agreements, projects awarded funding will be required to meet the Public-Sector Equality Duty and demonstrate this through regular reporting of progress.

As such efforts have been made to reflect London's diversity via MDA appointments, by for instance facilitating applications from all sections of the community, particularly, those underrepresented in the sector, in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, faith or disability.

As part of the 'Building Capacity' pillar GLA staff will work across the professional institutes and with industry more generally to support existing activities and where necessary develop further activities to promote a more representative built environment workforce.

Other considerations

This proposal has been developed to support the Mayor's vision in a City for All Londoners and further developed in the London Plan policies based on the principles of 'good growth' to deliver development that is socially, and economically inclusive and environmentally sustainable.

The GGbD programme will be reviewed on an annual basis, with an annual report being provided to the Mayor via the Growth board.

In line with the Risk management framework the GGbD programme manager liaises with activity leads across the programme to compile a monthly risk register. The programme manager will escalate any particularly serious risks to the programme or the corporate risk register). The programme manager will liaise across the programme to determine any potential financial, reputational and other potential impacts on the GLA and or its partners.

The programme manager will liaise with project leads to ensure appropriate levels of consultation are undertaken across respective work-strands. Work to support supplementary guidance to the London plan will require the development of specific pre-consultation drafts and following the publication of the New London Plan the publication of consultation drafts. Wider dissemination and engagement will take place at the programme level following the development of a programme wide summary document which will highlight key findings from across the programme. All material will be prepared in line with GLA guidance following the GLA style guide and with specific audiences in mind.

Good Growth by Design (GGbD) is the Mayor’s programme to promote a built environment that is socially and economically inclusive and environmentally sustainable. The programme manager will liaise across the programme to ensure that all investments aim to promote the role of design in improving development and delivering quality of life in an ever-denser city. The impact of each work strand will be assessed in this respect as part of ongoing programme evaluation.

Financial comments

The total cost of £87,200 for this proposal will be co-funded via a combination of GLA budgets, specifically £42,200 from the Regeneration Units Good Growth by Design Budget, £30,000 from the Planning Programme budget and £15,000 from Education & Youth’s Research & Consultancy budget.

Activity table

Activity

Timeline

All Activities scoped by

October 2019

All Activities Procured by

November 2019

All activities consulted upon by

January 2020

GGbD public event

February 2020

All activities completed by

March 2020


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