Public London

This report from the UK think tank Centre for London looks at the regulation, management and use of public spaces in London.

This report was commissioned by City Hall, as part of the Mayor’s Good Growth by Design programme. It puts forward recommendations to inform the development of a new Public London Charter, which will set out principles relating to the rights and responsibilities for users and owners of public spaces. Drawing on evidence gathered from ten public spaces across the capital, both publicly and privately-owned, it highlights the importance of management in making public spaces safe and welcoming to all Londoners. But management practices – rules or codes of conduct, maintenance and surveillance arrangements, curation, and events – vary across the city. And the approach taken is often dependent on landowners’ resources, ethos and attitude. The report highlights instances of over-regulation and over-policing. It also found that while over-policing can help members of the public feel safe, others may find it intimidating.The report also explored growing concerns about the commercialisation of public spaces. It argues that while events can help to promote use of public space, and commercial elements and sponsorship can also help meet running costs, these must not compromise the principle of accessibility and affordability.

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