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Old September 26th, 2012, 12:54 PM   #101
Langur
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Originally Posted by "Mr Bricks
You said density "picks up again" in the east, when in reality there is one small area in the east (CW) which is denser.
Not just Canary Wharf. There's also Canada Water, Royal Docks, and Stratford. East London has several linked clusters of new development.

Even the areas between the City and Wharf are not exactly low density. Look around you next time you take the DLR. You're surrounded by high-rise estates. It's not pretty, but it's certainly dense.

You make out that density falls off a cliff east of Brick Lane, but I believe Whitechapel is the most densely populated place in Britain.
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Old September 26th, 2012, 12:56 PM   #102
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Mr Bricks: your main point seems to be that British cities are inferior to Helsinki because they lack a dense urban core. You have chosen Manchester as your case study. I have no idea why you've decided to make this point, but nonetheless, here is a number of things you would do well to bear in mind:

1., Helsinki is on a peninsula jutting out into the sea, which forces density in a way that doesn't apply to any British city;
2., Helsinki has a GDP/capita of €45000, whilst Manchester's is €35000, so it shouldn't be much of a surprise to you that Helsinki is much nicer in terms of urban planning, density, architecture, etc.;
3., Helsinki is also a capital city, whilst Manchester is a small regional city - surely you realize that a capital city carries prestige that attracts all the better & bigger things?

As to your arguments vis-á-vis London, Paris, Glasgow, etc.: they seem to be completely inconsistent and senseless.
I'm not really sure what relevance Manchester has to Mr Brick's argument, as it's a very different city to London. Manchester's inner city (which for the most part is as you say, shit) was built as an industrial area, with housing for factory workers adjacent to those factories, all of which was cleared after the war. Outside the immediate central area the density falls very quickly because it was purposefully demolished when those factories closed or moved. It's been filled in with low density housing because suburbanisation allowed Manchester's population to halve in 50 years. None of this applies to London, or at least to most of it.

The urban structure of Manchester can tell you an awful lot about Manchester, and potentially Leeds and Birmingham (other inland British industrial cities) but nothing really about London.
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Old September 26th, 2012, 01:01 PM   #103
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It does actually. Nearly all the buildings here are 5-8 storeys. These are the non high-rise older buildings...

image hosted on flickr
And this is looking the other way, this time from Strata.

How anyone can argue that this is some kind of low-density or non-urban area is beyond me!

Scroll...
image hosted on flickr


Check the source here. It's better than the still frame above.
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Old September 26th, 2012, 03:14 PM   #104
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I found Paris at street level to be much denser and more urban than London. I also agree with Greco.
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Old September 26th, 2012, 03:16 PM   #105
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More South London urban porn...

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Old September 26th, 2012, 03:17 PM   #106
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Yes, Paris is more consitant with its density. London has pockets and districts, but the Paris core is spread over a far larger area. Paris is a very small city compared to London (Not talking Metro Areas here), the density is obvious when you go by the population by square mileage.
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Old September 26th, 2012, 03:32 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by ill tonkso View Post
Yes, Paris is more consitant with its density. London has pockets and districts, but the Paris core is spread over a far larger area. Paris is a very small city compared to London (Not talking Metro Areas here), the density is obvious when you go by the population by square mileage.
Yes but population per square kilometre is not always the right tool. For instance the City of London, which is far denser than anywhere in Paris, has a very low residential population density. Central London has far more commercial space than central Paris.
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Old September 26th, 2012, 04:33 PM   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthewGen View Post
I found Paris at street level to be much denser and more urban than London.
You are absolutely right. Langur is simply posting pictures of South London with Central/North London as backdrop. He even uses pictures of buildings that aren't actually there. How convenient

The other pic shows the area sround Borough High Street which indeed is dense as I said all along. This is just a small part of South London though, and as we all know the street scape is in many, or most places far from urban.
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Old September 26th, 2012, 04:36 PM   #109
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I could write a tome on the differences between Paris and London. Paris has more of a collective, conformist and communal orthodoxy - every building is the same colour and spec, communal entrances, no rows of porticoed doorways, etc.

Last edited by Required; September 26th, 2012 at 04:42 PM.
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Old September 26th, 2012, 07:29 PM   #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Bricks View Post
Langur is simply posting pictures of South London with Central/North London as backdrop. He even uses pictures of buildings that aren't actually there. How convenient. The other pic shows the area sround Borough High Street which indeed is dense as I said all along. This is just a small part of South London though, and as we all know the street scape is in many, or most places far from urban.
I give you huge panoramas from both ends of the area in question - that illustrate the area perfectly and completely - yet you accuse me of misrepresenting the place? How ridiculous!

Anyone who knows London, knows which buildings are on which side of the river.

And so what if the render depicts the proposed replacement for the Heygate Estate? It's irrelevent to the question of density, given that the Heygate itself - with its massive 12-storey blocks - was dense in any case.
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Old September 26th, 2012, 09:55 PM   #111
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This argument is getting silly. The main point that Bricks has really been trying to make (before he got sidetracked by his own stupidity) is:

Continental European cities often have long boulevards of dense 19th century apartment blocks, which are really rather nice. The best three examples in my view are Paris, Vienna, and Budapest. It is true that 19th c. London largely lacks this style of architecture, favouring tall, terraced houses (5 floors+) instead.

It is also true that in the aforementioned Continental cities, wealthy families did live in these apartment blocks with their children and all. I am not so familiar with the state of affairs nowadays, but I understand that most large families favour suburban neighbourhoods, unless they are rich enough to be able to afford a large enough apartment for a family.

Budapest:



All the arguments about density and 'urbanity' are pointless really, because London is a web of 10 or more different 'cities', and the density and character between them varies dramatically.

@Bricks, nota bene: South & East London are rather different to the equivalent in Paris because in London these are ex-industry & infrastructure areas. A bit like Manchester, the area was mainly filled with factories and power stations and things like that. On top of that, much of the area was bommed. You were criticizing apples-to-oranges comparisons earlier: I don't see how you can see the Parisian Left Bank as even faintly comparable to London's South Bank and E&C.

Last edited by Loathing; September 26th, 2012 at 10:03 PM.
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Old September 26th, 2012, 10:32 PM   #112
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london looked more dense back then but is more dense now as every demolition rebuild would be taller / bigger size, to make a tidy profit. looks like there is some green space that was created when the 60s/70s estates were built, but the hight made up for that.



All the building were about the same level like central paris.


Estimated: more than half this area has now been cleared.

Last edited by mouldss@hotmail.co.u; September 26th, 2012 at 10:41 PM.
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Old September 27th, 2012, 12:23 AM   #113
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I totally agree. It looked denser back then because it's tightly packed and the buildings are rich in detail. In reality it's much denser now.

Cities like Paris and Rome look dense for the same reason. However the buildings are not that efficient. Well spaced high-rises set amidst trees probably offer more floor space per hectare of land. I'm not saying the latter is preferable as an urban type. In fact I love old school urban detail and tight-packed streets. I'm simply making a point that is pertinent to this discussion of density.
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Old September 27th, 2012, 11:17 AM   #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loathing View Post
This argument is getting silly. The main point that Bricks has really been trying to make (before he got sidetracked by his own stupidity) is:

Continental European cities often have long boulevards of dense 19th century apartment blocks, which are really rather nice. The best three examples in my view are Paris, Vienna, and Budapest. It is true that 19th c. London largely lacks this style of architecture, favouring tall, terraced houses (5 floors+) instead.
Listen smartass, this is what I was saying all along, illustrating my point with a few examples. The only reason I got shouted down is due to the fact that I'm neither British nor a Londoner. In other words how could I possibly know anything about anythig? Sad but true.

There was a thread a while back in the city talk section in which similar topics were addressed, by British forumers mind you. No problem here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loathing View Post
@Bricks, nota bene: South & East London are rather different to the equivalent in Paris because in London these are ex-industry & infrastructure areas. A bit like Manchester, the area was mainly filled with factories and power stations and things like that. On top of that, much of the area was bommed. You were criticizing apples-to-oranges comparisons earlier: I don't see how you can see the Parisian Left Bank as even faintly comparable to London's South Bank and E&C.
Yeah I know why. That doesn't change the current situation. Few cities on the continent saw so many of its working class areas demolished.

I am not trying to compare South London to Paris' left bank as such. My point is that you have low-density, even suburban-like areas very close to central London, namely in the east and south. Never mind the history or function of these places. I'm focusin on how it looks today, not why or how it got there.

And as the old picture of Soutwark shows us the place used to be far denser. The same goes for East London. To a large extent these areas were overcrowded slums, but renovated and modernized they would have made a great place to live for people today. They would have made a great dense urban extention to the City and the South Bank. Before WWII London's population was 8.6 million compared to the 8.1 of today.


Btw, here's the then and now photos of Manchester I was looking for:






Bonus pic of Liverpool's once large and dense inner city:


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Old September 27th, 2012, 11:36 AM   #115
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My point is that you have low-density, even suburban-like areas very close to central London, namely in the east and south... And as the old picture of Soutwark shows us the place used to be far denser. The same goes for East London. To a large extent these areas were overcrowded slums, but renovated and modernized they would have made a great place to live for people today. They would have made a great dense urban extention to the City and the South Bank. Before WWII London's population was 8.6 million compared to the 8.1 of today.
If you think Southwark used to be denser than today, then you're absolutely clueless. The buildings were tightly packed, but they're nowhere near as large or efficient as their modern replacements.

The slums were architecturally horrible as well as horrible in every other way. There's no way they should have been preserved. Even the now maligned council estates were a vast improvement.

Most of these black and white photos of old London were taken when London's population was below what it is today (8.2 million). London's all-time record of 8.6 million will probably be surpassed by the end of the decade.
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Old September 27th, 2012, 11:41 AM   #116
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That first picture of Manchester looks horrific! It may look cool from the air to see such seamless urbanity like that but I can only imagine how it must have felt to be in amongst it. I know the current picture is not ideal but at least there is some decent green space. Given the choice I certainly wouldn't want to go back to what was there before. There is penty of room to add some more development but we are capable of doing it in a far less inhuman, monotonous way than the past.
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Old September 27th, 2012, 12:12 PM   #117
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Originally Posted by El_Greco View Post
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.
This is an interesting development in Beruit of all places.

District S//

The developers say that it has three distinct layers: a street level of shops, lanes and gardens, a middle layer of well-planned apartments and a top layer of villas and terraces. The architecture and consideration of urban form appears entirely appropriate and rooted in its context, being heavily influenced by the traditional local vernacular, albeit reinvented in an contemporary manner that is attractive, varied and interesting. The apartment's range in size from 150sqm to 600sqm so I can imagine a development like this being hugely conducive to attracting families, albeit relatively wealthy ones in this case, to live in a city centre. I would love to see a contemporary reinterpretetaion of the classic London 'Mansion Block' that follows similar principles with all the associated public spaces, steet life and rooftop terraces and gardens. The richness and vitality a successful project like this could add to the urban landscape cannot be understated.
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Old September 27th, 2012, 12:43 PM   #118
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How about this development from Berlin too: http://www.kronprinzengaerten.de/en/intro








I think more cities should build developments like that.
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Old September 27th, 2012, 01:47 PM   #119
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If you think Southwark used to be denser than today, then you're absolutely clueless. The buildings were tightly packed, but they're nowhere near as large or efficient as their modern replacements.
For the 3546th time, I'm not talking about floor space! Go live in Dubai if you like that kind of thing.

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The slums were architecturally horrible as well as horrible in every other way. There's no way they should have been preserved. Even the now maligned council estates were a vast improvement.
Yeah places like Spitalfields are really awful! I wish the area looked more like the Heygate!

Quote:
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Most of these black and white photos of old London were taken when London's population was below what it is today (8.2 million). London's all-time record of 8.6 million will probably be surpassed by the end of the decade.
Never mind when they were taken (early 20th C). The urban landscape looked pretty much the same. My point is that London used to be denser and that it suffered from suburbanisation after the war.

That Berlin development looks classy.
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Old September 27th, 2012, 02:17 PM   #120
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For the 3546th time, I'm not talking about floor space! Go live in Dubai if you like that kind of thing.
If we're talking of density, then floor space per hectare is what counts. Dubai isn't especially dense. Cities like New York or Hong Kong are dense.
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Yeah places like Spitalfields are really awful! I wish the area looked more like the Heygate!
How much slum housing is left in Spitalfields? None. Spitalfields is either new buildings or old ones that never were slums.
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Never mind when they were taken (early 20th C). The urban landscape looked pretty much the same. My point is that London used to be denser and that it suffered from suburbanisation after the war.
London's suburban expansion was well under way before the war. Outer London suburbia was overwhelmingly built in the 1930s. London has never been denser in terms of buildings than it is today.
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