David Lammy, MP for Tottenham, was guest speaker at a Legatum Institute breakfast that explored the controversial Royal Mail plans for the redevelopment of the Mount Pleasant Sorting Office site in London. The discussion was based on an elegant alternative put forward in a paper published jointly by the Legatum Institute and Create Streets.
For a city that once had the vision to leave in place the Royal Parks and avoid the sprawling banlieues of Paris, London currently shows extreme short-termism in its development, argued David Lammy. This is a question that goes beyond Mount Pleasant, one that is actually about the sort of city we want to create and the size of our ambition.
Discussion centred around the financing and incentives around longer term investment in development and how we can expand the use of the ‘estates’ model that has been seen to have a positive effect on long term outcomes. Such an investment strategy would deliver better housing in more desirable developments, whilst also providing investment opportunities with strong returns for pension funds over the next 40-50 years.
As the Mount Pleasant case study illustrates, such development not only can provide greater long term value appreciation for the Royal Mail, but it also respects the history of the community and delivers better social outcomes for Londoners.
Podcast: David Lammy MP and Nicholas Boys-Smith of Create Streets
About the Architecture of Prosperity Series
The Architecture of Prosperity, which forms part of the Legatum Institute's 'The Culture of Prosperity' programme, evaluates the impact of the built environment on human wellbeing and the capacity for creativity. The series of lectures, seminars and conferences address the central question of why some forms of architecture promote prosperity while others are linked to vicious effects.