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Old September 25th, 2012, 04:24 PM   #81
Mr Bricks
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No it isn't. Nowhere in Paris is as dense as the City. Nowhere in Paris is as urban as London's West End.
We are talking east and south London here remember? Anyway, the only reason the City would be denser is due to the fact that it is taller. The West End in on par with central Paris.


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Lol your ignorance of London shines through once again. The Shard is at the edge of zone 1. The area beyond that photo - everything to the left - is in zone 2. I have been talking about zone 1 only.

I never mentioned any specific zones. That map clearly shows that the Shard is not at the edge of zone 1 and that it stretches further south beyond E&C. What are you tring to prove here? My point was and is that inner London (until it reaches suburbia) south of the river is far more low-rise and low-density than Paris south of the Seine. I also said that you can walk a few blocks east of Brick Lane and end up on someone's drive way. In Paris you have high-density apartment blocks for miles radiating out from the centre in all directions. In London you have this in the west and possible north, not in the south nor in the east.


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Of course it's more pleasant. I said as much in my next sentence. However this is not what we've been discussing. We've been discussing density. The high rise buildings and large modern developments between the South Bank and Elephant are far bulkier and more space-efficient than the buildings of Paris's Left Bank. They're enough to compensate for the handful of streets with low-rise housing. However much of the area is mid-density in any case. It doesn't need be "compensated for". The measure is total building floor space per square kilometer. On that score, I'd guess that zone 1 south of the river is currently about the same as Paris's Left Bank. Finally note that your Paris photo shows the large buildings fronting the Champs de Mars. They're not typical of the whole of the Left Bank.
Just as skyscrapers and office blocks are not typical for South London. What we have here is Haussmannian 5-6 storey buildings vs. Victorian/Georgian 2-3 storey town houses and terraces. Then you have some taller Victorian/Edwardian blocks and whole lot of 60s low-rise estates and later bungalows. A few tall modern office blocks here and there? Is this a fair description? The problem with the large number of estates is that they are isolated places, a community within the city, while large 19th century blocks always make a proper street scape.

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It's not undeveloped. There's hardly any spare land waiting to be built upon. It's just badly developed. The area is changing from an industrial character to one fully integrated with the rest of central London. It will take a long time to develop the area's potential in full, and who knows what will happen once it eventually gets there. However we're already knocking down and redeveloping '60s buildings, so there's no reason to suppose the area will stand still. Paris's Left Bank has stagnated because it's attractive, worth preserving, and inhabited by influential left-wing nimbies who will ensure it retains its current character. I support them in their endeavors, but it does mean stagnation.
Maybe badly developed is a better desription, however there seems to be a lot of random pieces of open space as well.
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Old September 25th, 2012, 04:52 PM   #82
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We are talking east and south London here remember? Anyway, the only reason the City would be denser is due to the fact that it is taller. The West End in on par with central Paris.
The West End is on a par with central Paris only for building density. However the West End is more intensely urban than any district in Paris. There are more people, more shops, more restaurants, more bars, more theatres, more everything. The West End is Europe's most intensely urban experience. And yes, the City's combination of tight narrow streets, and tall and space-efficient modern buildings, makes it denser than anywhere in Paris. Total floor space per square km will be way higher in the City than anywhere in Paris. Somewhere like Midtown Manhattan will be much denser again. High-rises are hugely efficient. They provide masses of space on small land area. Paris apartment buildings are hollow. They have courtyards inside and so are space-inefficient compared to modern buildings, as well as being much shorter. Imaginatively place any of the 20-story high-rises that look so tiny behind the Shard into your Paris photo. Not only will those buildings look much larger (because the scale is much larger to start with). They will tower over every building visible. London's density within a few streets south of the river, is so much greater than Paris's Left Bank, that it makes up for the lower density in other places. Paris's Left Bank is simply more evenly and consistently distributed.
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I never mentioned any specific zones. That map clearly shows that the Shard is not at the edge of zone 1 and that it stretches further south beyond E&C. What are you tring to prove here?
Erm, look at the map again. The Shard is at the edge of zone 1, and zone 1 loops around to include Elephant but not anything beyond.
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My point was and is that inner London (until it reaches suburbia) south of the river is far more low-rise and low-density than Paris south of the Seine.
Beyond zone 1, I'd agree with you. Within zone 1, I don't. I've already given my reasons, no need to repeat.
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I also said that you can walk a few blocks east of Brick Lane and end up on someone's drive way. In Paris you have high-density apartment blocks for miles radiating out from the centre in all directions. In London you have this in the west and possible north, not in the south nor in the east.
Sure. To the south and east the density drops off outside zone 1. However it picks up again. In the east you come to Canary Wharf, with 100,000 workers (ie more than most cities) and lots of residential and retail space. To the south you get Elephant & Castle even within zone 1. Strata has 40 floors: that's more than any building in the City of Paris aside from the Tour Montparnasse.
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Just as skyscrapers and office blocks are not typical for South London. What we have here is Haussmannian 5-6 storey buildings vs. Victorian/Georgian 2-3 storey town houses and terraces. Then you have some taller Victorian/Edwardian blocks and whole lot of 60s low-rise estates and later bungalows. A few tall modern office blocks here and there? Is this a fair description? The problem with the large number of estates is that they are isolated places, a community within the city, while large 19th century blocks always make a proper street scape.
I don't deny that the streetscape is disjointed south of the river. However that's not what we've been debating. We've been debating density. Council estates are dense because they use high-rise buildings. You also make out that the large modern buildings are few, and the small streets many. I disagree. The streets with small houses are few. Bungalows? An exaggeration methinks. Look on Bing bird's eye view. The large buildings continuously line the river and for a few blocks inland. The buildings around the Shell Centre and Waterloo are very bulky indeed. Developments like the Shard/London Bridge Quarter, More London, Bankside 1/2/3, Neo Bankside, Palestra, Strata, etc are much bigger and more efficient than Paris Left Bank buildings, and there are more than enough to compensate for a few streets of lower densities elsewhere. Most other streets are not low-rise anyway. They're medium density. Overall, the average density is just as high as Paris's Left Bank. I think you're under-estimating how much of a difference high-rise makes. Imagine cutting those buildings down to 5-storey stumps (ie as high as typical Paris Left Bank buildings), and then distributing the rest of their mass throughout the surrounding area, especially over the smaller houses. Do you see where I'm coming from?
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Old September 25th, 2012, 04:55 PM   #83
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Debates about where has the highest density aside, I don't understand why anyone assumes that denser means better. It certainly doesn't automatically mean more attractive - although it can do. There are some wonderful places that are very dense indeed and there are also some downright inhuman places. The same can be said for lower density areas. There are good areas and bad areas and the correlation to density seems pretty tenuous at best.

Higher density has attractions for public transport usage, commuter distances and ease of access to certain types of facility. Lower density is attractive for amount of personal space, outside space and flexibility of living. As somebody grows older, gets married and starts a family it is natural for them to increasingly prefer the latter over the former.

If we want a healthy vibrant city full of people who will happily spend their whole lives there we need to provide both types of environment. People need to be able to migrate from the dense, exciting urban spaces that are more appealing in their youth to more spaceaous family friendly environments later in life. Fail to provide the latter and people will leave taking all their experience with them.

Balance is the answer. Just as uncontained urban sprawl doesnt make a nice environment neither does ultra density as far as the eye can see in every direction.
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Old September 25th, 2012, 05:23 PM   #84
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As somebody grows older, gets married and starts a family it is natural for them to increasingly prefer the latter over the former.
If you go to Continental cities such as Paris or Barcelona, or Madrid (these three are merely examples) you will see that theres a great number of families and old people living in these tall, urban neighbourhoods. Why is that? You answered that one - space. The flats in Continental blocks (both old and new) are huge, but in London they are tiny (doesnt London have the smallest flats in Europe?). Which is why I suggested that there needs to be more family sized flats in city centre/inner city; its hardly a good idea to turn it into single-persons ghetto. Everyone is fit for urban living, moreover its far more efficient and attractive - everythings so close for one. So if size issue was solved and property was more affordable perhaps attitudes to urban living would change.
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Old September 25th, 2012, 05:30 PM   #85
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If you go to Continental cities such as Paris or Barcelona, or Madrid (these three are merely examples) you will see that theres a great number of families and old people living in these tall, urban neighbourhoods. Why is that? You answered that one - space. The flats in Continental blocks (both old and new) are huge, but in London they are tiny (doesnt London have the smallest flats in Europe?). Which is why I suggested that there needs to be more family sized flats in city centre/inner city; its hardly a good idea to turn it into single-persons ghetto. Everyone is fit for urban living, moreover its far more efficient and attractive - everythings so close for one. So if size issue was solved and property was more affordable perhaps attitudes to urban living would change.
There are some really ignorant statements in there. Bringing up children in Paris is stressful. Average flats in Paris are absolutely tiny. London doesn't have the smallest flats in Europe at all. It's our new build homes that are among the smallest in Europe. However that's for new build only. And the reason our new homes are smaller on average? Because we're building a greater proportion of urban flats! The irony!!
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Old September 25th, 2012, 05:39 PM   #86
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Yawn. Cant be bothered to argue with you as we will be going round and round in circles with you cherry-picking, bringing up irrelevances, lying and deliberately misinterpreting posts as usual. Above post is a great example of this - ie none of it changes the fact that Continental city-centres and inner-cities are full of families and old-people proving that these can be great places to live for all parts of society and that London city-centre and inner-city needs more family-sized flats.
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Old September 25th, 2012, 05:42 PM   #87
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It's my fault that you're ignorant and choose to demonstrate your ignorance so frequently.
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Old September 25th, 2012, 05:45 PM   #88
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Oh dear, see what I mean. Thats so typical. Nothing I said is ignorant. Families and old people do live in city-centres and inner-cities on the Continent proving that these can be great places to live for all parts of society and London does need family-sized flats as the current crop is tiny and aimed at singles. However if you still want ignorant look in the mirror.
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Old September 25th, 2012, 06:10 PM   #89
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The West End is on a par with central Paris only for building density. However the West End is more intensely urban than any district in Paris. There are more people, more shops, more restaurants, more bars, more theatres, more everything. The West End is Europe's most intensely urban experience. And yes, the City's combination of tight narrow streets, and tall and space-efficient modern buildings, makes it denser than anywhere in Paris. Total floor space per square km will be way higher in the City than anywhere in Paris. Somewhere like Midtown Manhattan will be much denser again. High-rises are hugely efficient. They provide masses of space on small land area. Paris apartment buildings are hollow. They have courtyards inside and so are space-inefficient compared to modern buildings, as well as being much shorter. Imaginatively place any of the 20-story high-rises that look so tiny behind the Shard into your Paris photo. Not only will those buildings look much larger (because the scale is much larger to start with). They will tower over every building visible. London's density within a few streets south of the river, is so much greater than Paris's Left Bank, that it makes up for the lower density in other places. Paris's Left Bank is simply more evenly and consistently distributed.
Again you bang on about shops and floor space, which is completely besides the point here. Give it a rest will ya.

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Erm, look at the map again. The Shard is at the edge of zone 1, and zone 1 loops around to include Elephant but not anything beyond.
Let's not argue about the map. The point remains that the southern end of zone 1 is low-rise and not very dense.


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Beyond zone 1, I'd agree with you. Within zone 1, I don't. I've already given my reasons, no need to repeat.
Fine. Zone 1 is probably denser than zone 2, however, that doesn't mean zone 1 is dense, especially compared to inner city Paris.

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Sure. To the south and east the density drops off outside zone 1. However it picks up again. In the east you come to Canary Wharf, with 100,000 workers (ie more than most cities) and lots of residential and retail space. To the south you get Elephant & Castle even within zone 1. Strata has 40 floors: that's more than any building in the City of Paris aside from the Tour Montparnasse.
Oh please. Canary Wharf is an island in a sea of suburbia. So now Strata alone equals whole neighbourhoods of Paris?? Oh boy. Look, you could have the Burj Khalifa standing in E&C it still does precious little if the street scapes and buildings are what they are.

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I don't deny that the streetscape is disjointed south of the river. However that's not what we've been debating. We've been debating density. Council estates are dense because they use high-rise buildings. You also make out that the large modern buildings are few, and the small streets many. I disagree. The streets with small houses are few. Bungalows? An exaggeration methinks. Look on Bing bird's eye view. The large buildings continuously line the river and for a few blocks inland. The buildings around the Shell Centre and Waterloo are very bulky indeed. Developments like the Shard/London Bridge Quarter, More London, Bankside 1/2/3, Neo Bankside, Palestra, Strata, etc are much bigger and more efficient than Paris Left Bank buildings, and there are more than enough to compensate for a few streets of lower densities elsewhere. Most other streets are not low-rise anyway. They're medium density. Overall, the average density is just as high as Paris's Left Bank. I think you're under-estimating how much of a difference high-rise makes. Imagine cutting those buildings down to 5-storey stumps (ie as high as typical Paris Left Bank buildings), and then distributing the rest of their mass throughout the surrounding area, especially over the smaller houses. Do you see where I'm coming from?
High-rises don't make up for much. For example LA is hopelessly sprawling and suburban, a few skyscrapers sticking out in the middle won't change that. Furthermore 90% of the developments you're talking about are located on the riverbank or very close to it. Inland there is much fewer such buildings. And if you think council estates make for a great dense inner city then I don't know what to tell you.
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Old September 25th, 2012, 06:22 PM   #90
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Oh dear, see what I mean. Thats so typical. Nothing I said is ignorant. Families and old people do live in city-centres and inner-cities on the Continent proving that these can be great places to live for all parts of society and London does need family-sized flats as the current crop is tiny and aimed at singles. However if you still want ignorant look in the mirror.
But you said Paris/Continental flats are big. Sorry but that's ignorant. Paris flats are absolutely tiny.

You say it's no propblem for families, but actually it's stressful to raise children where there are so few parks for them to play, where you have to accompany them everywhere.

You say our flats are the smallest in europe, but they're not. It's our new build hmes that are small, and the reason they're small is because we're building a higher proportion or urban flats (ie exactly what you propose).
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Old September 25th, 2012, 06:41 PM   #91
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I think one of the biggest low density mistakes in London is to have not developed the tube in the south of the metro.

it is sorely in need of connecting up.

taking this further afield, the near total absence of tube networks in the larger British cities is also a mistake, criminally compounded by the removal of tram networks - something that has only recently been addressed in too few cities.
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Old September 25th, 2012, 06:46 PM   #92
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Again you bang on about shops and floor space, which is completely besides the point here. Give it a rest will ya.
But it's totally relevant. Density is from buildings. Floor space per square km is the surest measure of that. Busy streets, shops, restaurants, bars, theatres, nightlife, etc, are what defines urban areas.
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Let's not argue about the map. The point remains that the southern end of zone 1 is low-rise and not very dense.
It's "low-rise" but includes the Shard, Strata, and countless lesser high-rises?
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Fine. Zone 1 is probably denser than zone 2, however, that doesn't mean zone 1 is dense, especially compared to inner city Paris.
Zone 1 includes the City, which is denser than anywhere in Paris, and the West End, which is more intensely urban than anywhere in Paris.
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Oh please. Canary Wharf is an island in a sea of suburbia. So now Strata alone equals whole neighbourhoods of Paris?? Oh boy. Look, you could have the Burj Khalifa standing in E&C it still does precious little if the street scapes and buildings are what they are.

High-rises don't make up for much. For example LA is hopelessly sprawling and suburban, a few skyscrapers sticking out in the middle won't change that. Furthermore 90% of the developments you're talking about are located on the riverbank or very close to it. Inland there is much fewer such buildings. And if you think council estates make for a great dense inner city then I don't know what to tell you.
I never said council estates are great. I said they are dense, and so they are. It's not me that equates density with good, remember? I prefer mixed cities like Chicago to an endless sea of grim concrete apartment blocks as in Athens.

I'm no fan of LA, but I'd take it over Athens any day. Some of those suburbs are beautiful.

Burj Khalifa would indeed have equivalent floor space to a great swathe of urban Paris. It could stand in a large park and still have more floor space per land area.

Strata is one of many buildings between the South Bank and Elephant that would tower over anything in Paris's arrondisements 5, 6, and 7... yet they don't stand in a park.

Who cares if Canary Wharf is surrounded by lower density? I don't see what's so attractive about endless medium density. Imo this is just horrible...

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Old September 25th, 2012, 07:03 PM   #93
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But you said Paris/Continental flats are big. Sorry but that's ignorant. Paris flats are absolutely tiny.
The tall, dense 19th century housing in Continental cities is indeed spacious. Ive seen it.

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You say it's no propblem for families
Explain to me why theres so many families and old people living in these tall and dense city-centre/inner city neighbourhoods? A friend of mine lives in one of those Eixample blocks in Barcelona - more than half of the people in her block are families with kids. You can observe similar trends in other countries too.

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but actually it's stressful to raise children
But you dont have any and seeing how many people with kids live in these tall and dense city-centre/inner city neighbourhoods it puts your claim to question.

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where there are so few parks for them to play, where you have to accompany them everywhere.
You can see far more kids playing in the cities on the Continent than you do in London, often without anyone accompanying them either.

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You say our flats are the smallest in europe
No, I dont. Didnt you see the question mark?

Quote:
we're building a higher proportion or urban flats (ie exactly what you propose).
Urban flats which are small and more often than not aimed at singles. Im not the first to say so either. And what I propose is tall, dense and compact neighbourhoods which are big enough for families.
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Old September 25th, 2012, 07:11 PM   #94
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Supposedly suburban zone 1 south of the river from Will Pearson's Shard crane panoramas.

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Old September 25th, 2012, 07:28 PM   #95
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The tall, dense 19th century housing in Continental cities is indeed spacious. Ive seen it.
Not in Paris they aren't. Flats are tiny there. And don't make out that London doesn't have large flats in zone 1. We have tons. All my business flats are in zone 1 and have 4x bedrooms with a lounge and 2x bathrooms. Before HMOs came in, I had five bedroom flats too.
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Explain to me why theres so many families and old people living in these tall and dense city-centre/inner city neighbourhoods? A friend of mine lives in one of those Eixample blocks in Barcelona - more than half of the people in her block are families with kids. You can observe similar trends in other countries too.
In cities like Paris and Vienna, frankly there aren't many families with young children in the centre. It's mostly adults. Families live in the suburbs.
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You can see far more kids playing in the cities on the Continent than you do in London, often without anyone accompanying them either.
Gypsy pick-pockets? Neapolitian street urchins? I've been around Europe far more than you, but I haven't seen all these kids randomly wandering the city centres unaccompanied.
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Old September 25th, 2012, 07:33 PM   #96
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19th century apartment blocks have spacious flats, theres no shartage of families living in them and theres no shortage of kids playing in the streets over there, proving that central/inner-city areas (ie the tall and dense places which you claim are awful, tree-less, park-less and so on) are great environments for all parts of society (including, as demonstrated by Continental cities, families with kids) and please will you stop with your lying (I never said London does not have large flats in zone 1), having to correct you all the time is really getting tiresome.
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Old September 26th, 2012, 02:18 AM   #97
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^ But there aren't loads of kids growing up in city apartments in other cities, and where they do, it's less than ideal. It's not what I want for my family.
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Old September 26th, 2012, 10:46 AM   #98
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But it's totally relevant. Density is from buildings. Floor space per square km is the surest measure of that. Busy streets, shops, restaurants, bars, theatres, nightlife, etc, are what defines urban areas.It's "low-rise" but includes the Shard, Strata, and countless lesser high-rises? Zone 1 includes the City, which is denser than anywhere in Paris, and the West End, which is more intensely urban than anywhere in Paris.I never said council estates are great. I said they are dense, and so they are. It's not me that equates density with good, remember? I prefer mixed cities like Chicago to an endless sea of grim concrete apartment blocks as in Athens.
Your idea of density is just about statistics, I'm talking about street level experience. An urban area made up of council estates is going to be an unpleasant low-density place. Just because people are stacked on top of each other that doesn't make the area itself dense as council estates are spread around randomly without any thought given to planning or urbanity. A few high-rises do not make an otherwise low-density area dense! And I never said London should try to copy Athens.

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Originally Posted by Langur View Post
Burj Khalifa would indeed have equivalent floor space to a great swathe of urban Paris. It could stand in a large park and still have more floor space per land area.
In other words you speak for modernist town planning ala Le Corbusier. I guess you love the Heygate Estate. That is not my idea of dense urban planning.

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Originally Posted by Langur View Post
Strata is one of many buildings between the South Bank and Elephant that would tower over anything in Paris's arrondisements 5, 6, and 7... yet they don't stand in a park.
What's your point? South London does not consist of 5-6 storey blocks like West London or Paris. Strata changes nothing.

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Who cares if Canary Wharf is surrounded by lower density? I don't see what's so attractive about endless medium density. Imo this is just horrible...

You said density "picks up again" in the east, when in reality there is one small area in the east (CW) which is denser. I think Athens looks horrible as well, however, that doesn't change the fact that London's inner city in the east and the south needs to bulk up. As we both know there is a lot of development going on in these areas so things are changing.
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Old September 26th, 2012, 11:04 AM   #99
Langur
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What's your point? South London does not consist of 5-6 storey blocks like West London or Paris. Strata changes nothing
It does actually. Nearly all the buildings here are 5-8 storeys. These are the non high-rise older buildings...

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Last edited by Langur; September 26th, 2012 at 11:12 AM.
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Old September 26th, 2012, 11:50 AM   #100
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If you go to Continental cities such as Paris or Barcelona, or Madrid (these three are merely examples) you will see that theres a great number of families and old people living in these tall, urban neighbourhoods. Why is that? You answered that one - space. The flats in Continental blocks (both old and new) are huge, but in London they are tiny (doesnt London have the smallest flats in Europe?). Which is why I suggested that there needs to be more family sized flats in city centre/inner city; its hardly a good idea to turn it into single-persons ghetto. Everyone is fit for urban living, moreover its far more efficient and attractive - everythings so close for one. So if size issue was solved and property was more affordable perhaps attitudes to urban living would change.
spot on IMO - whether Paris is a good example or not is debateable but the point is well made - i would add Berlin to that list (for dense family sized flats)
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