Groundwork London tested the 'Tools for Making London's Suburbs More Sustainable' Toolkit in 7 pilot projects across London. The Toolkit was developed by URBED, on behalf of the GLA, LDA, ALG and TfL.
To read Groundwork's report, please follow the below link.
Tomorrow's Suburbs Pilot Report [PDF : 428KB]
You will need Adobe Reader to view the above document. If you do not currently have Adobe Reader, please click on the 'Get Adobe Reader' logo to download a free copy of the software.
Sustainable Suburbs Toolkit
As part of the preparation for the London Plan (the Mayor?s Spatial Development Strategy) the
GLA commissioned URBED to prepare a report on London?s suburbs, A City of Villages, which formed one of the Plan?s background documents. URBED was then commissioned by a consortium of the GLA, LDA, ALG and TfL to develop 'Tools for Making London?s Suburbs More Sustainable'. This Toolkit was published by the Mayor for formal consultation early in 2005.
The formal consultation and the practical testing of the Toolkit by Groundwork London helped inform the GLA's final Best Practice Guidance, 'Tomorrow's Suburbs: Tools for making London more sustainable', which was published in June 2006.
Groundwork London's Recommendations
Groundwork London's practical testing of the toolkit generated a number of recommendations from the communities involved in the 7 pilot projects.
- Despite the different characteristics of the seven pilots, consultation responses on the Toolkit were largely consistent across the different stakeholder groups and individuals involved ? evidence for its relevance and timeliness in a number of different local contexts.
- To emphasise the Toolkit?s role as an integrated framework for social, economic and environmental development and therefore the inter-relatedness of the tools.
- To change the title ?toolkit? to better reflect the document?s diverse contents.
- To include a matrix that enables a quick overview over relevant tools by distinguishing between strategic and practical tools and includes information on staff, time and financial resources required for implementation.
- To include guidance on organising effective and inclusive settings for applying the Toolkit.
- To develop an additional version of the Toolkit for children and young people.
- To include information and tools on themes that underpin the whole of the Toolkit, such as Sustainable Development, the London Plan, different types of Suburbs and their roles in implementing the London Plan.
- To emphasise the importance of partnership working for implementing the Toolkit and to include tools on this topic.
- To include specific tools on:
- Engaging with different sectors of the community, in particular young people and BME communities.
- Strengthening suburban economies through the creation of training and employment opportunities for local people.
- Built heritage and architecture.
- Tackling anti-social behaviour.
- Licensing and the night-time economy.
- The creation of affordable leisure and culture facilities.
- Methods to generate renewable forms of energy, for example through CHPs.
Language, design and layout-specific recommendations
- To introduce colour-coding and icons to distinguish between policy and strategic tools and to make the document visually more appealing.
- To develop a slideshow and a hard-copy summary sheet as a quick introduction to the Toolkit.
- To improve navigation throughout the Toolkit by improving the existing links.
- To introduce a keyword search function.
- To add a glossary explaining key technical terms.
Recommendations for a wider application of the Toolkit
One of the key findings from the consultation process was that the Toolkit should be promoted as a framework that can help facilitate planning for sustainable development in London?s suburbs, for example as a:
- Strategic and Partnership Tool to inform local policy development; review existing regeneration programmes; generate project ideas; make the case for investment in suburbs; help partnerships review their focus and develop a holistic vision for their suburb.
- Briefing Tool to provide comprehensive and easy to absorb information on specialist topics to elected members, for cross-departmental co-operation within local authorities or when working with external partners with limited knowledge of planning issues; to promote the concept of sustainable development in suburban areas to the wider community.
- Training Tool for local authority staff inductions and training courses; in capacity-building processes, for example for new community board members of regeneration partnerships
Recommendations for a pan-London application
Consultation responses suggested that the Toolkit has got the potential to promote the importance of making London?s suburbs more sustainable on a pan-London level and to a wider audience. This could be achieved by considering the following recommendations:
- To develop a series of Sustainable Suburbs Action Programmes for London, targeted at different audiences, in particular children and young people (through schools and youth clubs etc), using the Toolkit?s themes as a framework for activities
- To develop a series of workshops for professionals and information events for the wider community focussing on each of the Toolkit?s seven main themes. These could tie in with relevant local and pan-London festivals and activities such as London Sustainability Week.
- To promote the Toolkit for use in university-based or professional training for planners and other regeneration professionals