What matters most to Sadiq Khan? Is his primary motivation as London Mayor to leave a lasting, positive legacy? Or is his real focus to gain short-term popularity and establish a rival powerbase within the Labour Party to the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn? Does he wish to serve London for 8 years as his two predecessors did, or is he planning to cut and run after 4 years?
What does this year hold for the urban innovation agenda in the UK? Like many others, I completely failed to predict the Brexit vote or the Trump Presidency. But I'm having another go at the crystal ball gazing this year because I still think it's useful to speculate about - and prepare for - the future. So, here are my five predictions for UK cities in 2017.
Sadiq Khan has dumped the new double-decker bus which was annoyingly dubbed the 'Boris Bus', because everything that Bozo the Mayor did always had his name appended to it by the press and, I suspect, by himself.
To save lives, but also to put London at the forefront of a clean vehicle revolution and spare its air pollution shame, the Mayor of London needs to introduce a ban on the dirtiest vehicles being used in the capital.
Today we've had confirmation that a monitoring station in Brixton Road has reported that the annual legal safe levels of nitrogen dioxide were exceeded within the first five days of the year. Sadly this is no surprise to us at City Hall, and it is why our mayor, Sadiq Khan, has had to take urgent and hard-hitting measures to help halt the rise of London's filthy air pollution.
This morning Sadiq Khan issued a press release in which he made five pledges to suburban Londoners listing improvements that he claims would happen if the Government devolves control of suburban rail to Transport for London.
It is essential that the Mayor delivers on his promise to clean up London's air and that the national Government backs him. While London has the worst air pollution, this is a national problem which requires a national solution.
Let's be clear, we are faced with a crucial choice: exposing an entire generation to the potentially irreversible impacts of air pollution or continuing to run our cities on diesel. I am on the side of doctors on this one--and so should be you.
I sympathise entirely with Khan's attempt to tackle something which his predecessor Boris Johnson actively suppressed while in office. And as a fellow asthma-sufferer, I think that his intention is genuine and that the gesture couldn't come sooner. There are handy websites and apps now which monitor the levels of air pollution - but they inevitably place the onus on individuals to avoid breathing in toxic air rather than the causing factors of pollution. By aiming policy at individuals, this falls short of the drastic overhaul of London's dirty air we need urgently.
I urge you, when the time comes to decide whether London should continue as the great member and guiding light the UK needs, or leave to become a nation which discovers the hard way that man cannot live of the produce of allotments alone, vote Remain.
Pulsing music is the beating heart of our capital and its rich tapestry of personalities, coming together when the sun sets and they've escaped daytime responsibilities to talk with strangers, dance, create, explore... live.
Repeating over and over again that you want to win elections does not constitute a strategy, a vision, or a project. On the contrary, the primary objective is to make party members understand that they can only aspire to affect positive change on the world if they defer to the experts and professionalised political actors who make up the Parliamentary Labour Party and their assorted entourage.
Maybe, just maybe, our politics is more than that? Maybe people can recognise the difference between values and gamesmanship. It is clear to me that the reason the Labour moderates are failing to not only connect with the people of the country, but people in our own party, is they have abandoned the very principles for power.
Sadiq Khan recently revealed that more than half of London's clubs have closed in the past eight years. This steep decline of licensed venues, due to forced closures, could cause more harm than good by encouraging clubbers to attend unlicensed venues, including illegal raves. These unregulated environments lack the appropriate security, and health and safety measures to manage potential drug misuse.
Pete Tong MBE, Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim), Carl Cox, the Chemical Brothers, Annie Mac, Sasha, DJ Goldie MBE, Andy C and BBC Radio 1's B.Traits are just a few of the famous DJs who have come out in support of Fabric. Most of these DJs scarcely play at the club themselves -- it's not a self-interest thing. They recognise the important contribution Fabric has made to the UK music scene.
Our current approach of criminalising drug use, in the hope that it dissuades people from taking drugs, is a failure; the numbers of drug-related deaths in England, Wales, and Scotland are currently the highest ever recorded. It's time for the UK to change its approach to drug use.