Tall Buildings

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Saturday 9 June 2007 2.56am
Interesting feature on BBC London news tonight which included mention of the Shard. I am very impressed with the amount of investment that has gone into the sophisticated urban planning model we have in place.


From about 16 mins...
Saturday 9 June 2007 1.35pm
Total paranoia as usual from the heritage lobby, whose only concern appears to be about height and nothing else. The same old tired, easily debunked arguments and faulty information.

And why is it necessarily a bad thing that London's skyline will be "radically altered"? The next few years will see the greatest improvement to this city's image since Victorian times. I'm not just talking about skyscrapers here, but the wider transformation that is occuring across London - major transport and infrastructure projects, urban regeneration and masterplans, new public squares and green spaces, new stadiums including the Olympics, old buildings being recladded and renovated, it's all happening.

We should be welcoming this change, not fearing it.
Saturday 9 June 2007 1.42pm
I thought I'd seen that report before. Looks like BBC London have uploaded the wrong bulletin - if you fast-forward to the national headlines at the end it's all about Northern Ireland power sharing, which would date it to 8 May rather than 8 June!

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Sunday 10 June 2007 1.27pm
It makes me laugh when people say London is turning into Manhattan or Hong Kong. These people don't have a clue! Do they even know what the definition of a "skyscraper" is?

Central London has maybe 5 or 6 medium-sized towers that are likely to be built in the next few years, and a couple of fairly big ones (Shard of Glass and the Bishopsgate Tower). But this is a drop in the ocean compared to places like Dubai and Chongqing, which are building literally hundreds of new skyscrapers including towers that would make the Shard of Glass look miniscule by comparison.

Look at these models for Chongqing -


And Dubai -



London isn't building tall just for the sake of it, and we're getting quality over quantity.
Monday 11 June 2007 2.54pm
Of course, anyone who went to Dubai 30 years ago will remember that it was basically a small town in the Arabian Desert, while Chongqing is the most bombed city in history and was basically completely overhauled by Chiang Kai-shek. In other words, the buildings that have been erected there have not had to be woven into the fabric of a city with an already complex architectural heritage. I'm not rubbising the Shard etc. (au contraire!), but I do think it's invidious to draw a comparison between attitudes to new architecture in London, which has grown organically over more than 2,000 years, and those in new, manufactured communities.

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