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Old August 13th, 2013, 03:01 PM   #7661
deckard_6
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I don't know if we should blame politics, education in general or just TV for the limited capacity of many people to discuss opposite ideas without disrespecting others.
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Old August 13th, 2013, 03:04 PM   #7662
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Originally Posted by Mr Bricks View Post
Well it depends what you mean by better. Certainly London is now cleaner, better looking and more pleasant. But you have to remember that from the 70s to the 90s poverty in London actually increased, and although for the last 15 years inner London (mostly in the west and the centre) has become wealthier many of the suburbs are becoming poorer and falling into deprivation due to population displacement. If you read what I wrote I did talk about London constantly changing, however, this is no excuse to ignore the dark side of the current construction boom.
The biggest case of population displacement was during the first 25 or or so post-war years, a policy by governments' to purposely depopulate Britain's cities, fuelled by the belief that the future belonged to a decentrailsed network of centres linked by the car. What you call 'slums' were very often perfectly fine rows of terraces. My dad lived in one in Kilburn, and was moved to a newly built estate in Neasden during the late '60s so the council (or GLC) could replace the terraces with another estate. The War gave authorities' the excuse to implement modernist theories of urban planning, for one.

Much of what you call 'displacement' is actually the conscious movement of people to low-density areas dominated by families. It's a well worn path, not least because plenty of people don't actually like living in the inner city. Many have cashed in handsomely by selling off former council homes or older blocks. The greatest driver of displacement is going to be the cap on housing benefits, but that's little to do with regeneration, being a central government policy motivated by political concerns. Estates in or near central London are seeing the total number of housing units increased, and many saw flats sold-off under the R2B long ago anyway. Search for a room rented out by a private landlord in zones 1 and 2 and you'll quickly see many are ex-local authority.

The problem with housing is political and the answer likely national.
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Old August 13th, 2013, 03:09 PM   #7663
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Originally Posted by Quicksilver View Post
Yes, sometimes I wish the approval process was much quicker in the UK.

Just a small example, which I think could be relevant. We have a small "pond" basically, a big paddle 2mx2m which the developer on our development wants to fill in to create some green area. As it's next to my house, I have been following the process quite closely as local council seems to be good in following guidelines and they publish all documents related to this application promptly. So back to this "pond", developer submitted application back in January 2013, local council asked for local Parish consent (what they have to do this it it's beyond my understanding), local environment agency consent, some bird society consent, archaeological consent, etc, etc. There are now about 20 documents attached to this application, which is ridiculous in my opinion, and this pond is still there! In some countries, the developers don't even need to ask anything or report it, they just level it with a ground, job done, and nobody ever remembers that it was something there.

Basically, the approval process is complex but it covers all the aspects and you cannot "just demolish the old building" or build whatever you want. As Blign said, some companies spend years to get through the application process. So, yes, developers in London don't have «the wild card» to do whatever they want and it's not all ruled by money, still...
One of my neighbours wants to prune a tree to improve the amount of light coming into his garden. He has to get planning permission as it's a conservation area and has had to contact no less than 37 other parties to obtain their views before going ahead. The tree is a sycamore (basically the closest thing in the tree world to a weed) so it's not even a nice tree but all trees in conservation areas are protected. And this is just for pruning, not even cutting down.

I dread to think the hoops I'd have to go through to build an extension or loft conversion.
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Old August 13th, 2013, 04:13 PM   #7664
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Im all for regenration, but when youre replacing a former community rather than helping it it becomes more suspect. Yes, it beautifies the place - but once again too many old buildings are falling to the wrecker's ball before we notice in time.

And yes, as it all goes increasingly middle class in the picket barriers, up comes the issue of rising rents. Now regeneration has a dodgy name as even the hallowed ground of us middle classes are threatened - what needing to have the salary of an investment banker ($65,000) or a lawyer ($59,000) to afford even to rent a one bed apartment:

http://www.rentonomy.com/posts/109

or an average $170,000 just for a deposit within 6 years

http://www.rentonomy.com/posts/109

As the independent shops and start-ups are priced out the centre is becoming increasingly staid, cold and moneyed. What has struck deepest to our bourgeouis sensibilities is the recent loss of the nightlife and entertainment districts, now catering to tourists as traps, or bespoke places to have a lapdance or prosecco. To have a a good night out, without chart music, one has to fork out to zone 3 or further now, and steel yourself for the complicated nightbus journey home.

Ive always maintained some part of the central city should always be set aside for cheaper rents, in the name of start-ups, entertainment and buzz.

Last edited by the spliff fairy; August 13th, 2013 at 04:19 PM.
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Old August 13th, 2013, 05:40 PM   #7665
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Originally Posted by london lad View Post
Mr Bricks is the classic case of someone who has read a book, been somewhere for a holiday and studied google earth to much and thinks he is an expert on the subject. I think we can all agree his ignorance on London is unrivalled and most of what he talks is nothing but his opinion which he trys to dress up as fact by linking to scholarly reports and papers.He really knows jackshit about the place.

I really don’t know why he does it as time and time again his flimsy urban theories he studies and try’s to apply to a place he knows nought about is quite roundly shot down conclusively by people who actually know about the city he seems to think he is an expert on.
Someone feels a bit threatened by people who actually read books! You should give it a try. At least try to correct me instead of resorting to badly disguised personal attacks.
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Old August 13th, 2013, 05:55 PM   #7666
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Re post war slum clearance I don't believe it was necessary at all. Many of the buildings that were lost could have been renovated, but they were slums in the sense that they lacked all the equipment necessary for modern life.

I Love the fact that London is an architecturally diverse city and I do love many of the modern buildings and projects in the city. What I'm trying to get at is the social aspects, why can't people distinguish the two? Te CW a lot of people on here haven't done their home work.
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Old August 13th, 2013, 06:25 PM   #7667
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Originally Posted by the spliff fairy View Post
Im all for regenration, but when youre replacing a former community rather than helping it it becomes more suspect. Yes, it beautifies the place - but once again too many old buildings are falling to the wrecker's ball before we notice in time.

And yes, as it all goes increasingly middle class in the picket barriers, up comes the issue of rising rents. Now regeneration has a dodgy name as even the hallowed ground of us middle classes are threatened - what needing to have the salary of an investment banker ($65,000) or a lawyer ($59,000) to afford even to rent a one bed apartment:

http://www.rentonomy.com/posts/109

or an average $170,000 just for a deposit within 6 years

http://www.rentonomy.com/posts/109

As the independent shops and start-ups are priced out the centre is becoming increasingly staid, cold and moneyed. What has struck deepest to our bourgeouis sensibilities is the recent loss of the nightlife and entertainment districts, now catering to tourists as traps, or bespoke places to have a lapdance or prosecco. To have a a good night out, without chart music, one has to fork out to zone 3 or further now, and steel yourself for the complicated nightbus journey home.

Ive always maintained some part of the central city should always be set aside for cheaper rents, in the name of start-ups, entertainment and buzz.
This is nonsense. I live in zone 1. Most people here aren't investment bankers or lawyers. (The quoted salaries of $65,000 and $59,000 for bankers and lawyers seem rather low.) I work in the central London rental market, and can tell you that most zone 1 renters aren't on huge City salaries. One bedroom apartments are indeed expensive, but most single renters take flatshares or studios.

Most of my friends who've bought flats/houses don't earn anywhere near $170,000 pa. Most have bought in outlying areas, but that's normal for first time buyers. What do we expect? People on average salaries buying their first home in Mayfair? Get real!

Startups are not priced out of the centre. "Silicon Roundabout" has 1000 tech or tech related firms now. There were hardly any a few years ago. It's located between the City and Hoxton/Shorditch (one of the hottest and trendiest parts of London.)

Central London is not dying at all. The West End is absolutely heaving this year. I'm sure it will be the biggest year ever for tourism, hotels, restaurants, bars, theatres, taxi fares, Tube traffic, etc. It was always touristy. It's just more of the same. And I for one haven't noticed any lack of unique shops or restaurants in places like Soho. Indeed quite the opposite. There's more choice, variety, and originality now than ever before.
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Old August 13th, 2013, 06:40 PM   #7668
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You just have to visit the Lost London thread to see all the great Victoriana that has been demolished in recent years.
Actually very little Victoriana has been demolished in recent years. There was far more being demolished in the post WWII decades.
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Many people fail to realize the social change that is taking place in London. Most forumers just seem to celebrate the destruction of nasty old estates without realizing that the replacements, often new shiny high-rise buildings, though vastly improving the architectural face of London make the city a less socially mixed and democratic place to live. Central London is becoming more of a playground for the rich with sleek residential towers and corporate palaces.
I don't see how knocking down horrid decayed old estates and replacing them with more attractive buildings occupied by more prosperous residents is bad for London. Some of those inner London neighbourhoods were wealthy before they declined. Now they're becoming wealthy again. It's just part of the natural evolution of the city. Indeed the whole reason they're regenerating is because urban living is enjoyed and celebrated once again. Inner London became poor and neglected precisely because the middle class drifted to the suburbs from the 20s to the 80s. Now that trend is in reverse (at least for a certain demographic). It's true that the regeneration of inner London displaces the poor further afield, but is this such a terrible thing? Do the unemployed really need to be located close to the city centre more than those who actually work there? Trying to keep the poor in situ merely entrenches and continues the social problems suffered by inner cities in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Is that really what we're aiming for? Resisting natural change would necessitate huge and artificial distortions of the market, and that inevitably brings its own problems. Look what rent controls did for the South Bronx in NYC if you want an example of unintended negative consequences.
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Last edited by Langur; August 13th, 2013 at 07:09 PM.
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Old August 13th, 2013, 06:42 PM   #7669
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Someone feels a bit threatened by people who actually read books! You should give it a try.

Hitler read books... hell, he even wrote one. He was a dick.
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Old August 13th, 2013, 06:56 PM   #7670
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Hawkins\Brown and Mae bags £55m Camden estate overhaul

13 August, 2013 | By Richard Waite

A rather relevant piece of news for those who seem to think council estates are being replaced by the rich.

As with most council estate urban regeneration obsolete or tired parts are being demolished or redeveloped to provide a lot more housing on the site and as is often the case a more mixed community is the desired outcome ( it also allows for some of these regeneration schemes to make sense financially as the private sales subsidise the council and affordable elements allowing the whole scheme to be built).

[IMG]http://i41.************/hup1g5.jpg[/IMG]
A team led by Hawkins\Brown and Mae has won the £55 million project to overhaul the 1960s Agar Grove Estate in Camden, north London

It is understood the practices saw off bids from BPTW, Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, Pollard Thomas Edwards and PRP with BDP to land the ‘significant’ housing regeneration scheme.

Part of Camden Council’s Community Investment Programme, the project will see 112 homes low-rise homes demolished, 360 new homes built and the central, eighteen-storey Lulworth House tower block stripped back to its frame and refurbished. The residents from the tower will be rehoused on the estate and the apartments in the revamped high-rise will be put up for private sale.

Landscape specialists Grant Associates, services engineer Max Fordham and structural engineer Peter Brett Associates will also work on the 25,600m² project.

Seth Rutt, partner, Hawkins\Brown commented: ‘Camden is showing real commitment to sustainability - both environmentally and socially. The client is keen to build on ‘fabric first’ principles to exceed legislation and tackle fuel poverty. Camden are also committed to keeping the existing community on site, which we will be doing with a phased, single decant - residents will be able to watch their new homes being built - and then move in.’

Alex Ely, partner, Mae added: ‘Camden have a commitment to delivering high quality design and we are delighted to be part of the team for this significant regeneration project.’
^ And the above is a typical example of what is happening to council estates in London: local Councils are adding private development to them, which adds urban density and also produces the money to refurbish/rebuild the social housing on-site, and in addition it makes the area more socially diverse and removes the stigma from the "council estate", improving the area as a whole; and all of this at little or no cost to the taxpayer, which benefits the economy. All parties are left happy and the fabric of the city is improved. London's policy may not be perfect, but we're doing this regeneration thing pretty damn well compared to rival cities.

Last edited by Loathing; August 13th, 2013 at 07:08 PM.
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Old August 13th, 2013, 07:07 PM   #7671
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Re post war slum clearance I don't believe it was necessary at all. Many of the buildings that were lost could have been renovated, but they were slums in the sense that they lacked all the equipment necessary for modern life.

I Love the fact that London is an architecturally diverse city and I do love many of the modern buildings and projects in the city. What I'm trying to get at is the social aspects, why can't people distinguish the two? Te CW a lot of people on here haven't done their home work.
Trust me I've done my homework, if that 'homework' consists of having spent years observing, studying, living and contributing to London's built environment.

You question my assertion that London is better now than it was in the mid to late 20th century, saying that it only holds true on an aesthetic level. Perhaps you didn't consider the devastating population loss, crime level, defunct industry, unemployment, standard of schooling, incohesion, social unrest, and the multitude of other ills that plagued London at the period. There is no comparison. An interesting case-point would be to observe the transition in popular culture (music etc) during this period, especially the subject and content with regard to domestic issues.

You argue that replacing the decrepit estates is not progress, but I have to inform you otherwise again. Once you've had the chance to visit and observe the decayed estates of South London, you'd be in no doubt that they are beyond saving. Estates like the Ferrier and Aylesbury were condemned from birth, victims of poor design and very poor construction standards. That doesn't even take into account the fact that they both housed the poorest of society in societally and architecturally homogenous jungles. Their multi-billion pound regenerations are both progress whether you like it or not. I have spent years studying the estates you mention on a social and engineering level, I assure you that I know what I'm talking about.

You wonder where all the 'poor people' go? At the Ferrier Estate, every council tenant was offered the chance to relocate to the new development or settle in another council property in the borough, as is standard procedure. Some decided to make a fresh start elsewhere in the borough, and some decided to move into a new house on the development. I speak to former Ferrier residents first-hand, they could not be happier with their new house and the regeneration in general, as exhibited by this post two years ago:

Quote:
Originally Posted by SE9 View Post
Most of those 3-storey terraced houses are occupied by former Ferrier residents! A while back, I was speaking to the mother of a family who had just moved into one of those houses from the Ferrier. She was very pleased with her new place, and said she would recommend any Ferrier resident to transfer to the Kidbrooke Village development.

Some have scattered to other estates in Greenwich Borough, mostly in the Eltham area.

You're entitled to your opinion but, with the greatest of respect, I do know what I'm talking about and I've certainly done my fair share of homework on it.
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Old August 13th, 2013, 07:29 PM   #7672
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Again you ignore the social aspect. I am quite astonished that you picked Canary Wharf, as anyone who has any knowledge in urban studies would know that CW is a text book example of a highly problematic urban renewal project.
I'm not the biggest fan of Canary Wharf. I prefer areas of London with more historical grain. However if your goal is for rich and poor to live in close proximity, then Canary Wharf is an example of that. You have an island of office towers for banks and yuppie apartment buildings amidst a sea of poor east London. Before Canary Wharf, the docks were homogeneously poor. Now it's a mix of rich and poor. That's the kind of mix you've been advocating, right? Canary Wharf also provides jobs that were lacking before. I don't mean that under-educated locals suddenly became high-flying bankers. However even the lowest skilled can get jobs as cleaners or shop assistants in Canary Wharf's malls. That's not amazing, but it's better than what they had before, ie unemployment.

In general the yuppie colonies and outposts springing up among hitherto deprived inner city areas actually increases London's social heterogeneity. Only zone 1 is in any danger of becoming completely gentrified.
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Old August 13th, 2013, 09:23 PM   #7673
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There really isn't any need for personal attacks, esp. as Mr Bricks hasn't said anything to warrant it.
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Old August 13th, 2013, 10:08 PM   #7674
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I'd love to see a list of all these old buildings being knocked down Mr Bricks.........
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Old August 14th, 2013, 12:39 AM   #7675
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There really isn't any need for personal attacks, esp. as Mr Bricks hasn't said anything to warrant it.
When debating with people that are experts on different aspects of London - having lived, worked and studied aspects built environment, architecture and society over many years - we shouldn't be spoken to as if we know nothing of our own city and professional field.

I know certain cities fairly well such as Atlanta, but I would never dare claim to have a greater insight on the built environment or society of Atlanta than an Atlantan engineer that has lived, worked and studied the city for many years. I would actually use the opportunity to have him impart his knowledge and expertise of the city unto me. Through such a process, I become more knowledgeable.

Should we be spoken to like we don't know what we're talking about regarding these factual matters? People are entitled to their opinion, however dressing opinions as fact and propagating them in a condescending manner isn't wise. I have opinions positive and negative regarding London and many other cities. If I have an opinion that is proven to be wrong by a relevant proof, I will not continue to propagate that now-discredited opinion.
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Old August 14th, 2013, 12:52 AM   #7676
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Piccadilly Circus | West End W1

London forum thread: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=818102

A new LED screen will be added to Piccadilly Circus: Piccadilly Lights in London to expand

Piccadilly Circus, the intersection of several prominent roads, was once covered in electronic advertising:



Most of the advertisements were removed to reveal the architectural beauty of the buildings that they covered:

image hosted on flickr

http://www.flickr.com/photos/macita83/7709638766/

The new LED screen will be where the indicative Emirates advert is, immediately above the Barclays and Boots storefronts:

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Old August 14th, 2013, 01:02 AM   #7677
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Hampton House | Nine Elms SW8

London forum thread: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=497918

Official website: http://www.hamptonhouseconsultation.co.uk/





Demolition ongoing at the Hampton House site. Photo taken today by forumer stevekeiretsu:

image hosted on flickr

20 Albert Embankment demolition by stevekeiretsu, on Flickr
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Old August 14th, 2013, 01:44 AM   #7678
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Originally Posted by SE9 View Post
Piccadilly Circus | West End W1

London forum thread: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=818102

A new LED screen will be added to Piccadilly Circus: Piccadilly Lights in London to expand

Piccadilly Circus, the intersection of several prominent roads, was once covered in electronic advertising:


Does anybody else agree it was better like that? I mean, yes the architecture there is beautiful but adverts on one more building wouldn't really hurt anyone would they.
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Old August 14th, 2013, 01:53 AM   #7679
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I quite like it now..

image hosted on flickr

Diamond Jubilee preparations by st_hart, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Euro 2012 Semi Finals by Stefan the Cameraman, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Regent Street Festival 2012 Circus Circus by Regent Street Online, on Flickr
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Old August 14th, 2013, 02:36 AM   #7680
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Like? >>>

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by dwayne miras, on Flickr
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