The need for a champion

 

 

Historically, East London including the Royal Docks has been a gateway between the city and its global markets. Today the area has a unique opportunity to undergo a transformation which can lead the way towards a low carbon London.

The concept of creating a Green Enterprise District in East London was developed in 2009 with the aim of building an internationally recognized low carbon economy region. The predominantly industrial land owned to a large extent by the public sector, wider regeneration initiatives as well as the forthcoming Olympic Games are all factors which support the idea.

Although the Green Enterprise District is still a fluid concept, which is partly due to the restructuring of the London Development Agency, a leading public body for the project, a number of projects are beginning to unfold. One of them is the London Sustainable Industries Park, now open for businesses who are willing to work with their neighbours based on principles of industrial ecology. The resulting material and energy exchanges are rendered possible only by human and organizational connections. So collaboration is key. But in order to reach a critical mass of people and organizations to collaborate on a specific issue, it needs a champion with a continuous focus on driving things forward in a particular area. For the Sustainable Industries Park, this champion is the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation, and above all Mark Bradbury, Deputy Director of Development. The role of this leadership is to build momentum and get the project to a point where it becomes self-sustaining and the community is empowered. It is one thing to have an idea and draft a map and strategy but it also needs focused leadership to assemble the right partners and implement it.

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