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Old Posted Jul 2, 2018, 5:10 PM
nito nito is offline
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Originally Posted by 10023 View Post
I took an Uber home from City Airport last night (we had luggage and couldn’t be bothered with the DLR and tube), so I drove through a lot of London that I don’t really see. Suffice it to say that almost the whole of that drive until you get to the Tower of London is better viewed from the air. The number of projects is impressive, but they have done nothing to coordinate them or create a real urban environment.

You can’t just convert docklands and factories to residential neighborhoods on this scale ad hoc. The whole road layout needed to be ripped out and rethought, as do the postwar developments from back when people were leaving London. Places like “London City Island” will not age well (see Roosevelt Island in NYC, which is horrible).
There are certainly examples of docklands redevelopment done wrong; the 80’s development directly opposite ExCeL is a case in example, as is the data centres, and most of the area around Blackwall is suspect. I think there was a step-change post-financial crisis when developers had to wise-up and provide a more competent offering in some parts of the Docklands that were a bit disconnected and lacking a neighbourhood feel.

London City Island that you refer is probably quite a good example of the change in direction. It is one of the first multi-tower developments in London which is built around pedestrian and bicycles (road access is limited) and has a 2-minute connection to Canning Town station via a new bridge. Ballymore were also clever in paying for a new home for the London Film School, the English National Ballet and the Arebyte Gallery, as well as workspaces.

For those not aware, London City Island is a development on a bend of the River Lea on its final approach to the Thames in east London. Ballymore are also developing Goodluck Hope, a neighbouring plot (on the Thames) which will create a riverside walk along the River Lea.

Image taken by forum member corerising:

Originally Posted by rgarri4 View Post
The city of London seems to lack a city center. Or if it has one its really hard to tell. Development seems so scattered around and un-aware of each other. I haven't been to London before so I wouldn't know if this is a good or bad thing but seeing it in pictures it's super confusing to tell how the city is growing.
The City of London is the original Roman settlement of Lonindium, and now forms the eastern quarter of the central activity zone, or what is more commonly referred to as Central London. This is an area roughly defined by the 13 mainline termini of London and covers the main CBD of London (the West End), the financial district (the City), the legal quarter (Holborn) and the majority of most headquarters and other primary offices. The actual centre of modern day London where distances are measured from is Charing Cross which confusingly not in the City of London, but in the neighbouring City of Westminster!

Canary Wharf which is the primary concentration for skyscrapers in London, but is just the third largest CBD in London is located to the east of Central London in the old London Docks. Other skyscrapers and high-rise developments tend to be clustered around transport hubs (Stratford, Vauxhall, Croydon, etc…). The tallest tower in London; the Shard, is built above London Bridge station across the river from the City of London.

It can certainly come across that there is a rather scattergun approach to development, mostly due to the lack of available (and cheap) land, stringent planning guidelines, conservation zones, protected sightlines and a host of other commercial factors.
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