London’s Waterloo neighbourhood is home to WeAreWaterloo, one of the city’s first Business Improvement Districts, which is an organisation responsible making Waterloo more enticing through events, greening and cleaning, etc. Waterloo is also home to London’s second busiest train station, Waterloo Station, which routes hundreds of thousands of people through Waterloo every year. But are they actually getting out to explore Waterloo? Not enough! Which is why the BID teamed up with architect and design firm, Allies & Morrison, to create a Waterloo Placemaking Strategy. The strategy will determine tactical ways to cement Waterloo as a destination and differentiate it from its neighbours on the South Bank. This will be done by seeking out opportunities for improvements to the public realm and softer initiatives such as events, marketing or branding opportunities. The work is currently live! It began in January and will wrap up in April.
Chief Executive/ WeAreWaterloo Business Improvement District
Natalie Raben is Chief Executive of WeAreWaterloo Business Improvement District (BID). Here she is responsible for enticing people to spend more time – and money! – in London’s Waterloo neighbourhood. This takes shape in events, marketing, greening and security initiatives. Prior to Waterloo, Natalie began her BID career in New York at the Lower East Side Partnership, also a BID, where she launched the organisation’s public art portfolio through the 100 Gates Project, a public art initiative that connected artist and businesses through murals on security gates. This grant funded programme went on to expand to several other neighbourhoods, successfully bringing hundreds of new murals to the city. More recently, she obtained her MSc from Manchester MET University in Place Management & Leadership. Outside of that, Natalie is also most well-known for running Pickle Day, which drew 30,000 gherkin enthusiasts to the LES annually for a day full of sweet and sour moments.
Director of Landscape Architecture/ Allies and Morrison
Eric Hallquist is the Director of Landscape Architecture team at Allies and Morrison. He has a particular focus on the design of public realm. Great cities, he argues, are defined by the quality of their open spaces. Public realm should not only be beautiful and memorable but should be integral to tackling environmental issues such as air quality, water management and carbon sequestration. Eric is based in London but has nurtured a diverse, international portfolio of landscape and public realm projects.
Urban Planner/ Allies and Morrison
Imogen Blaikie is an Urban Planner with architecture and urbanism practice Allies and Morrison. Imogen works within the practice’s urban practitioners team on a range of projects, including town centre masterplans and urban strategies, and has particular experience in community and stakeholder engagement.
Imogen has a degree in Architecture, and prior to her current role was part of the practice’s bid and communications team for five years. In 2019, Imogen returned to university to study a Masters in Urban Planning and has since enjoyed her role coordinating a range of projects and engagement activities for the team, including her current role as part of the team developing the Waterloo Placemaking Strategy for WeAreWaterloo.
She is interested in how the design of public spaces can improve mental wellbeing and the importance of access to nature. She also enjoys being part of a small team who contribute to the Urban Design Journal.
Urban Designer/ Allies and Morrison
Jacob Neville is an Urban Designer with qualifications in Architecture and Spatial Planning & Urban Design, specialising in landscape and public realm projects.
At Allies and Morrison, he is currently working on masterplanning, design guides, and placemaking projects, including the Galway Public Realm Strategy, which won the Irish Planning Institute’s Design Award in 2020. Most recently, he has been helping to coordinate and visualise designs proposals for the Waterloo Placemaking Strategy for WeAreWaterloo BID.
Jacob was previously a project coordinator at Publica, where he worked to create place-based visions and strategies and researched London’s cultural and creative industries. This research included his drawings capturing creative life within the Bussey Building in Peckham, which were subsequently exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.
Head of Marketing/ WeAreWaterloo
Harrie Notton is the Head of Marketing and Strategy at WeAreWaterloo Business Improvement District (BID). As a people-focussed, placemaking marketer, Harrie ensures that the BID’s legacy and newly-created projects are aligned with the strategic priorities of the organisation, and are well-communicated to members. Harrie’s proudest moment in her role to-date was overseeing the development and roll-out of a multi-channel communications strategy for the BID’s renewal. Against the uncertain backdrop of COVID-19, 92% of members voted in favour of a fourth, five year term, generating around £700,000 a year to spend on local projects.