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2021 Mid-Year Review

The first 6 months of this year have seen a gradual re-awakening from the long winter of the pandemic - there is cautious optimism in the air and a discernible feeling that we are on the brink of a new beginning, brimming with opportunity.

The pandemic has forced many of us to reflect, re-evaluate and re-calibrate, and to revisit aspects of our work and personal lives that we have perhaps taken for granted. This is a time to innovate, to do things better, be that in terms of our health and well-being, the work that we do and the way we do it, or improving our carbon footprint. 

A summer of sporting events which have seen the return of spectators, and a fine showing by the England football team in the Euros, have heightened the sense that the clouds are dissipating and there are better times ahead.  We, like many, had to adapt our modus operandi to the times, which prompted the launch of our online lecture series and our choice of current and thought-provoking subjects. I am pleased to report that the lectures were extremely well attended and favourably received. 

There were 6 lectures scheduled between February and April this year , offering members and guests a broad ‘menu’ of topics covering the ground breaking public realm scheme at Exchange Square presented by DSDHA and FFLO; discussions on the future ways of working and the new workplace with Fletcher Priest, Despina Katsikakis and Peter Murray; as well as presentations on 77 Coleman with Buckley Grey Yeoman and Heyne Tillet Steel; Eight Bishopsgate with Wilkinson Eyre and Arup; and One Bishopsgate Plaza with PLP – all exemplar projects which will surely contribute to attracting us back into the City.

Looking to the future, we would like to continue to challenge ourselves and keep improving as an organization, to maintain our relevance and importance to you, our members. We will continue to diversify and hope to see a broader representation in the membership and at Committee level, and to engage with the best of design and thought leadership. 
We encourage you to nominate potential new members and help us to grow the Forum.  
Nomination details can be  obtained from the Forum’s Administrator, Rowena Ellims – info@cityarchitectureforum.org

We hope to see a return to ‘in person’ events over the next 6 months, which will be blended with the now widely accepted online events, in this our 30th Anniversary year.

The anniversary is, of course, a significant milestone, which we intend to celebrate with a high-quality roster of events including tours of One Crown Place (with KPF and CBRE); 22 Bishopsgate (with Lipton Rogers and PLP); 135 Bishopsgate (with Fletcher Priest); as well as hearing from Gwyn Richards, Interim Chief Planning Officer and Development Director in the Department of the Built Environment at the City of London, and Ender Ozkan Vice President of RWDI on the ground breaking ’Thermal Comfort Guidelines’ for the next generation of post COVID developments in the City where the very crafting of a more nuanced mix of new office space and outdoor amenity will be fundamental to the next generation of our great City of London.

We are also delighted to announce that the year will be rounded off with Prof. Sadie Morgan OBE as the keynote speaker at our Annual Dinner on 22 November 2021. Put the date in your diaries!

As the reawakening continues, we very much hope to see the City fully active again and meeting many of you at future events and functions, not least to foster that very important sense of community that nurtures organizations like ours.

David Magyar
Hon. Secretary