Placemaking – ABP London style


ABP London are on a mission. A mission to create a community.

Placemaking is a phrase that has been bandied around in our capital in recent years and something we’ve explored previously. And despite efforts to capture current thinking more, developers, in particular, have received a lot of criticism for their attempts or lack of, to create large scale communities when regenerating a significant piece of land.

At Royal Albert Dock (RAD) east London, we are supporting ABP London in their summer event programme, which is bringing the development to life and includes a number of events for its varying communities of the future.

A two-day UK Asia Tech Powerhouse conference kicked off their summer event programme. Why an event focused on tech, you might ask? London’s technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) recorded more than 2.8 million sq ft of take-up and accounted for roughly 24% of all transactions in 2018. And they’re registering their interest at RAD, thanks to its start-up community qualities and more affordable rental values.

The event celebrated the sector’s collaborative, cross-border relationships and brought together leading experts and delegates to take part in a series of debates and competitions as part of London Tech Week. An extensive line-up of speakers, including Singaporean entrepreneur Annabelle Kwok and Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Asia Pacific, UK Department for International Trade Natalie Black were in attendance. UK start-up tech companies were also given the opportunity to access millions of pounds of funding to reach new markets in Asia and the opportunity to join a tour of China’s leading tech regions, thanks to ABP London’s connections with the Jiangbei Tech Zone in Nanjing and WTOIP.

TMT isn’t the only sector registering their interest in RAD. Given the development’s close proximity to London City Airport, RAD welcomed aviation experts to an evening centred on the future of aviation, in partnership with City AM.

Whilst RAD is keen to explore business topics that are close to the heart of its future tenants, it also appreciates the importance of downing tools, letting your hair down (you get the gist). Its partnership with the Greenwich Docklands International Festival has allowed them to host ‘The Daedalum’, an immersive architectural installation, a fantasia of domes and tunnels crafted by Alan Parkinson of Architects of Air. The festival finale, Cristal Palace (6th July), will transform the docks into an outdoor ballroom. Followed by fireworks, this free evening makes a fitting conclusion to London’s leading festival of free outdoor theatre.

There’s no better way to celebrate the arrival of London’s next international business district, if you ask me.