Francesca Prestinoni, Principal Sustainability Consultant at Hilson Moran, shares her experiences on the NLA Expert Panel for Planning
I recently had the pleasure and privilege of being part of a year-long tenure on the NLA Expert Panel for Planning, one of the various industry collaborations that both Hilson Moran and other stakeholders in the sector contribute to in a voluntary role to help shape policy for the built environment. The main aim of this panel was to produce recommendations in relation to planning that would form part of a White Paper submitted to the Mayor of London for consideration as part of the New London Agenda. The panel focused on ‘Planning’ by looking at the rapidly changing shape of London by examining spatial and strategic plans at a local and London-wide level.
For me, the opportunity to be involved in this panel has been – from a professional and a personal development stance – invaluable. As one of the only NextGen representatives on the panel, I hope I was able to bring a different perspective to the wider group discussions that reflected my demographic and age group.
There were three main themes being addressed in the outcomes:
- The proper functioning of the planning system and national planning policy agenda,
- Embedding social value through all phases of planning and development through policy and guidance, and
- Effective community engagement in planning.
All the discussions across the four formal meetings, networking events and presentations were informative and educational. As a Principal Sustainability Consultant at Hilson Moran working on ESG projects, a particular interest of mine was related to how we can embed social value and generate community engagement in planning, especially as this in an area presently not governed by law.
It was fascinating to hear viewpoints from those like Emma Carroll at the London Sustainable Development Commission (LSDC), which was established in 2002 to help provide independent advice to the mayor on making London an exemplary sustainable world city. As well as academics, campaigners, architects, economists and sustainable development experts on how we can build London back better post Covid and deliver social value through development and regeneration.