Building a better London is not easy. But we won't move our capital forward unless we engage with those who know the most about London, and often have the biggest insight into how it can be improved: Londoners themselves.
For too long, apparent solutions have been imposed on individuals, communities, councils, and businesses - without consultation. We need to make decision-making more about conversations, more about genuine engagement - enabling the right solutions to be developed and ensuring that they last well into the future.
London's political history is filled with examples of top-down decision-making that ignores local need and impact. In the 1960s, the London Ringways project aimed to create four orbital ringroads - requiring the demolition of 40,000 houses and turning London into a car-centric city. More recently, we can see the same imposition of the Emirates Air Line on the Greenwich Peninsula and Royal Docks - an apparent solution that is useless to the majority of both communities.
We also need to introduce a culture of learning into London policy and politics. Trial and error, in moderation, is something that should be embraced. The best solutions will arise from testing. We need to be responsive to these opportunities - evaluating, learning and trying again as necessary. London is a dynamic city, facing huge and important challenges, and we need to be pushing to find innovative solutions and not taking the easy way forward.
This ethos was employed to great success in New York, under the Commissioner of the Department of Transportation Janette Sadik-Khan. She focused on using temporary modifications - paint and plastic - to test new traffic and cycling infrastructure. Using data to monitor the effect on pedestrians, cyclists and motorists successful interventions were kept. If they didn't work, then the paint and temporary measures were quickly and easily removed.
London politics and policy making must also be more transparent - including recognising and admitting when our ideas don't work out. The only way to increase Londoner's trust in politics is by making it accessible and understandable to everyone - and holding our hands up when things don't go to plan.
This is why my campaign is committed to being ideas-driven, and focused on engagement with individuals, communities and organisations across the city. I've spoken at over 40 campaign meetings across London and have heard directly the problems that people are facing, and their thoughts on what can be done - often drawn from decades of personal experience. These are the people we need to be giving voice to.
In this spirit of consultation, I'm hosting an Ideas for London conference this weekend, and to widen the consultation process further my website allows anyone to suggest a policy for my policy team to analyse and consider.
Londoners don't just want to hear about the difficulties and problems in this city, they want to help tackle them - to play their part in making London an even better place to live and work. We need to support and leverage this knowledge, talent and commitment.
Suggested For You
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements. Learn more