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Global Cities - Tate Modern

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Wednesday 27 June 2007 7.55am
I'm surprised that at least wjfox hasn't submitted an excitable post about this exhibition yet, which contains scenes of density, height and sheer urban-ness which some viewers may find disturbing...

The exhibition itself seems rather patchy in quality though I'm told its 'parent' exhibition in Venice was much bigger and better argued. There also seemed to be a preachy quality to it which many posters to this forum will not appreciate, the chief theme of the (tired) sermon being that London could do with more density and height rather than suburban sprawl.

It occurred to me that residential density is often spoken of and the stats about this indicator are everywhere, but that office workers and tourists add significantly to the feeling of 'population' and impact on infrastructure. Manhattan, for instance, is very low density in terms of dwellers, but is clearly mobbed with people night and day. Mumbai may have ridiculous densities in terms of population, but is perhaps less overrun with tourists.

Would like to know what others thought of the exhibition and its messages.
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Wednesday 27 June 2007 12.18pm
Thanks for the tip-off, sounds worth a look; one point though - Manhatten is not low density in any sense. As well as the commuting population you have:

'1,537,195[1] packed into a land area of 22.96 square miles (59.47 kmē), it is the most densely populated county in the United States with almost 67,000 residents per square mile (almost 26,000/kmē)'
Wednesday 27 June 2007 12.33pm
Thats compared to (for example):

8,932/kmē for Southwark Borough or;
11378/km for Westminster City

So in terms of the Tate debate, I guess London is quite low density...?
Friday 29 June 2007 6.54am
Bridgehouse wrote:
I guess London is quite low density...?

Very few cities are as low density as London. Certainly, almost none on its scale. In fact most of it is open space and most of that is green space. In some cities the figures for open space are as near zero as makes no odds and almost none of it is green.
Friday 29 June 2007 7.05am
There used to be, perhaps still is, a saying that you can walk across London on the grass. Dont know if this is still so, since so much of our green spaces are being ripped up to put high rises on (viz. our parking lot in MCH with its lovely trees). The English tradition of A-house-with-a-garden which has created the sprawl of London with its rows of terraces with back gardens has always been its charm. But of course the city cant keep growing ACROSS, or it will reach Scotland soon! No way to go but UP.

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