INFRASTRUCTURE, ENVIRONMENT AND THE PUBLIC REALM

The Mayor’s London Plan (published in 2011) is the main mechanism for making sure that

planning and development in the capital encourage culture to thrive. The Mayor is also committed to improving London’s physical environment, including regeneration initiatives like the Culture on the

High Street guide.

The protection and celebration of London’s heritage was given particular emphasis in Cultural Metropolis. Many of the cultural projects championed by the Mayor in the summer of 2012 were inspired

by the city’s heritage, using its architecture and historic sites as the basis for artistic expression. Looking forward, the River Thames is a key focus for the Mayor across many of his programmes,  and culture is no exception. As well as continuing to support the Thames Festival, an annual event celebrating the river, the Mayor is commissioning new cultural projects centred on the river. Thomas Heatherwick is developing a Garden Bridge for pedestrians that will connect north and south London. The Mayor is also looking at proposals

to construct a floating public lido on the Thames, and installing a contemporary and energy-efficient lighting scheme on a cluster of London bridges

to enhance the river at night.

Through public art projects, the Mayor is successfully integrating contemporary art into  the cityscape. The Fourth Plinth Commissioning Programme is the UK’s biggest sculpture prize and has become one of the best known public art projects in the world. The current work, Katharina Fritsch’s Hahn/Cock, is proving a big hit, and will

be followed by Hans Haacke’s Gift Horse and David Shrigley’s Really Good, in 2015 and 2016. Meanwhile, Art on the Underground is running Mark Wallinger’s Labyrinth, one of its most ambitious projects,

to mark the Tube’s 150th  anniversary. It provides a permanent work of art in every single one of the network’s 270 stations. New temporary and permanent artworks will also be commissioned for Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

London’s built environment, parks and public realm lend themselves to outdoor events and festivals that create a unique sense of occasion. As well as the 2012 Games, the last three years have seen London take centre stage in major national events like the Royal Wedding and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Alongside these, the Mayor has continued to support local and community-based festivals across London, recognising their value in providing distinct cultural experiences and a sense of belonging

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