Labour candidate for mayor joins Greens and Lib Dems in pledging support for RIBA’s call for good design

A call from the RIBA to back good design in London has been backed by mayoral candidates, including Ken Livingstone.

The RIBA’s mayoral election manifesto, Designing a Better London, sets out four key policies for the next mayor and the London Assembly: commissioning a five-year strategy for London, appointing a deputy mayor to help achieve a lasting Olympic legacy, transforming empty spaces into community facilities and investing in retrofitting of buildings.

The manifesto is yet to win support from incumbent Boris Johnson, but yesterday was backed by Livingstone following previous pledges of support from Liberal Democrat candidate Brian Paddick and Green candidate Jenny Jones.

London’s mayoral election takes place on May 3rd.

“I welcome RIBA’s contribution to the mayoral election debate and agree that great design should be at the heart of the Mayor’s approach to planning including London’s most important regeneration project, the Olympic Legacy plans,” Livingstone said.  

“I believe that great design is integral to improving London’s environment.”

Livingstone added that Johnson had not done enough to support retrofitting.

He said: “I have already pledged to get the RE:FIT programme I started in 2007 back on track and to ensure that the remaining GLA group buildings are added to this programme during the next mayoral term.

“To date, only the 42 buildings I started have been completed, although modest in number this has saved Londoners £1 million off the GLA group’s energy bills. This programme needs to be expanded not put on hold as it has been under Boris Johnson.

The Labour candidate also said he supported ‘meanwhile uses’ for empty spaces in the capital.

“As a starting point I will ask the Legacy Development Corporation to prepare a strategy for meanwhile uses in the Olympic Park and I will be keen to roll this programme out across London if it is successful,” he said.

Jenny Jones said she would champion meanwhile uses if elected while Paddick said the manifesto contained “great ideas” he wanted to implement.

To read the RIBA’s manifesto for London can be read in full at: