Trophy architects and the ‘dark matter' of London’s planning system
A quarter of London’s skyscrapers are designed by architects who have already won a lifetime achievement award and whose work thus has the imprimatur of ‘iconic design’; this compares with just 3% in Chicago. According to research by Paul Cheshire and Gerard Dericks, employing such ‘trophy architects’ can get a London developer a valuable extra 19 floors on a representative site. Their study shows how in the highly uncertain world created by the UK planning system’s decision-making method, it is worth spending a fortune to ‘game’ the system and get more space when you are successful. They explain the costs to society of these incentives to ‘game’ the system.
3 October 2014 Paper Number CEPCP432
This CentrePiece article is published under the centre's Urban programme.