Mayoral Candidates back the RIBA Manifesto for London

The RIBA has welcomed the latest candidate, Boris Johnson, to endorse the Manifesto for London: Designing a Better London.

In a statement, Boris Johnson thanked the RIBA for its Manifesto and the ‘vital issues it raises’ before going on to say:

'Securing a legacy from the London Olympics is of crucial importance, and as such is a key part of my 9 Point Plan for Greater London. To help achieve a sustainable and beneficial legacy for all Londoners, I have created the London Legacy Development Corporation, chaired by Baroness Margaret Ford. The Corporation will play a key role in ensuring we secure the 11,000 new homes and 10,000 new jobs the Olympic Park will support.

'I especially welcome RIBA’s support for retrofitting. My vision is to make London the retrofitting capital of the world and I have extended my RE:FIT programme to cover all public buildings. I aim to target up to 600 buildings in London for retrofitting as part of my drive to reduce the capital’s carbon output by 60 per cent by 2025.

'Like you, I am determined to revitalise our high streets and I am always pleased to hear of innovative ways, such as ‘Meanwhile Uses’, to ensure that our high streets remain the lifeblood of their local communities. It is for this reason that I have pledged, amongst other things, to invest £221 million to transform local high streets and support small businesses.

'I look forward, if re-elected on 3 May, to working with RIBA on our shared ambitions of revitalising our high streets, ensuring a high quality of design in our capital’s buildings and driving growth forward. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank RIBA for the valuable work it does in championing better buildings'

Boris Johnson’s comments on ‘Designing a Better London’ mean that the all main candidates for the Mayoral position have now responded to the RIBA’s Manifesto. Brian Paddick, Jenny Jones and Ken Livingstone have all previously welcomed the Manifesto from RIBA London and its 12,000+ members across the capital.

Jenny Jones said:

'Design is crucial for delivering both sustainability and equality, not just for a four-year mayoral term, but building spaces and places which will be enjoyed for decades to come. I love the idea of 'meanwhile uses' and will definitely champion these if I am elected to City Hall.'

Ken Livingstone said:

'I welcome RIBA’s contribution to the mayoral election debate and agree that great design should be at the heart of the Mayor’s approach to planning including London’s most important regeneration project, the Olympic Legacy plans.

'I am also interested in looking seriously at what the Mayor can do to support ‘meanwhile uses’, as a starting point I will ask the Legacy Development Corporation to prepare a strategy for meanwhile uses in the Olympic Park and I will be keen to roll this programme out across London if it is successful.'

Brian Paddick said:

'We have been presented with many positive manifestos during this campaign, including yours, and all contain some great ideas for the London that I will stand up for when I become Mayor. I welcome the RIBA's manifesto, and look forward to working with you when elected on 3 May.'

The Manifesto specifically calls for the next Mayor and the London Assembly to:

  • Commission a five-year design strategy for London
  • Appoint a Deputy Mayor for a lasting Olympic legacy
  • Transform empty spaces into local shops and community gardens and
  • Retrofit the capital

RIBA President Angela Brady said:

'The RIBA welcomes the fact that four of the main Mayoral candidates; Boris Johnson, Jenny Jones, Ken Livingstone and Brian Paddick have responded to our ‘Designing a Better London Manifesto’.

'We look forward to working closely with the successful candidate to help them implement the goals of our manifesto. London is a world leader in architecture and design talent, and the RIBA are committed to working with a strong leadership in London to ensure it is one of the best designed cities in the world.'

‘Designing a Better London’ The RIBA Manifesto for London can be found on the RIBA website


Notes to editors

  • For further press information contact Howard Crosskey in the RIBA Press Office: 020 7307 3761
  • The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) champions better buildings, communities and the environment through architecture and our members. Visit or follow us at
  • On 3 May 2012, people from across London will be given the chance to vote for the Mayor of London and the 25 members of the London Assembly. For more information about the elections please visit