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The search is on to find a new star at London’s planning Oscars

Entries are now open for the 2011/12 London Planning Awards, the annual competition to celebrate the best in the planning world – crucial to creating and maintaining the world class livability of the UK capital

Last year’s awards received unprecedented attention, with overall winner of the prestigious Mayor’s Award for Planning Excellence, London River Park, securing a major financial backer.

Designed by global architects and planners Gensler, the London River Park centred on the creation of a one mile long floating river walk along the north bank of the River Thames, connecting Blackfriars Bridge with the Tower of London.

Other winners included Clapham Manor Primary School, St Paul’s Churchyard, Enfield Town library extension and DLR London City Airport Expansion, amongst others.

Established in 2002 and run jointly by the Mayor, London First, the Royal Town Planning Institute and London Councils, the annual awards aim to recognise excellence and showcase examples that are leading the urban renaissance in London; raise expectations and standards; and improve the profile of planning. The last two years have seen record numbers of entries from boroughs, developers, consultants, community groups, public agencies and partnerships across London.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:
“The standard and variety of entries at the London Planning Awards never fails to impress and I am sure that this year’s crop will be as eye-catching and inspiring as ever. Last year saw a truly remarkable overall winner in the form of the London River Park and I hope that we see some equally bold and beautiful submissions coming forward.”

Baroness Jo Valentine, Chief Executive of London First, said:
“Some of the best planners, architects and developers in the world work in London, demonstrating what is possible when we work together to create great buildings, places and neighbourhoods. Last year’s winners were outstanding and will no doubt strengthen London’s position as a world city – I’m sure this year’s entries will be of an equally high standard.”

Richard Summers, President of the Royal Town Planning Institute, said:
“The London Planning Awards are a highlight of the year for RTPI members working on projects in London. The awards send out a very powerful message that London values the quality of its built and natural environment. Last year’s entries set very high standards but I have every confidence that planners will rise to the challenge to excel again this year.”

London Councils Executive Member for Planning, Councillor Chris Roberts said:
‘Last year’s awards showcased the essential role that local authorities play when it comes to planning in London. Seven council-led projects were shortlisted and two won their categories outright – the Enfield Town library extension, which won Best Building and the St Pauls Churchyard project, which won the Best Historic Building Management category.
“We encourage as many councils as possible to enter the 2011 London Planning Awards so the awards continue to reflect the importance of borough contributions to London’s urban environment”

Awards Categories for 2011/12:

Best Built Project
Best Built Project: Community scale scheme
Best Conceptual Project
Best New Public Space
Best Built Project: 5 years on
Best Historic Building Management
Best New Place to Live

To view the entry form go to www.londonplanningawards.com
For more information please contact Kate Vandermeer at kvandermeer@londonfirst.co.uk

Notes to Editors

The London Planning Awards, now in their ninth year, are run jointly by the Mayor, London First, the RTPI and London Councils, although entry is open to non members of London First and the RTPI. Local authorities, consultants, community groups, developers, public agencies, partnerships and other teams are eligible to enter. Applicants may enter their own work or be nominated. Closing date is 15 August 2011.

Visual materials including logos and pictures both of previous winners and the ceremony for the 2010/11 Awards at City Hall are available upon request.

London First is a business membership organisation whose mission is to make London the best city in the world in which to do business. London First undertakes this by mobilising the experience, expertise and enthusiasm of the private sector to develop practical solutions to the challenges facing London. London First also seeks to persuade central and London government to make the investments that London needs in its infrastructure

London First delivers its activities with the support of the capital’s major businesses in key sectors such as finance, professional services, property, ICT, creative industries, hospitality and retail. Membership also includes all of London’s universities as well as further education colleges and NHS hospital trusts. London First members represent over a quarter of London’s GDP.

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