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Old January 19th, 2015, 04:57 PM   #12581
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I can't wait to visit 20FS this year. I know there has been a little negative-media about it (some of which is very true), but it's still one of the best viewpoints in London for FREE!
Didn't know it was for free, wow. Can't wait either.
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Old January 19th, 2015, 06:07 PM   #12582
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Didn't know it was for free, wow. Can't wait either.
Yep. It's completely free. The only catch is that you have to book (reserve space) 3 days before you visit via their website, which to me is an absolute bargain and understandable procedure!

When you go, share your photos with us!
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Old January 19th, 2015, 06:30 PM   #12583
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The new US Embassy looks extremely expensive for its area.

Will it have some ultra-modern security systems that justify the £ 1bn cost?
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Old January 19th, 2015, 06:33 PM   #12584
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Truly, with the loss of a drive-thru McDonalds on a roundabout, London's individual character has been obliterated.
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Old January 19th, 2015, 06:41 PM   #12585
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I guess fears are more represented by thoughts like this than the loss of an American fast food outlet:

Are we losing the London we love?

Gritty, edgy London – the Soho haunts, the East End fixtures – is being taken over and redeveloped. It’s changing the capital, but who’ll be left to call it home?

For someone who really loves London, I’m starting to hate it a lot. The walk from my flat to Soho takes about 40 minutes, and on the way we pass One Commercial Street. It’s made of grey glass, like a big powerless telly. The only clear difference between this residential block and others nearby is that its name (unlike, say, Mettle & Poise, the Hackney Road development built in the ruins of a children’s hospital) doesn’t pretend it’s somewhere else.

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandst...ve-eva-wiseman
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Old January 19th, 2015, 06:56 PM   #12586
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I mean, if you want to really dive into this debate, we can. But it's not worth the time. That article is BS, London has not lost any of its character. I used to live in the east end, and her characterization of it seems completely hollow. It's like grime and cultural diversity are just aspects of a theme park for her. Oh no, she cries, her walk from her flat to Soho is slightly less interesting now because rich white people are living where poor immigrants used to hang.

What is she talking about?
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Old January 19th, 2015, 06:58 PM   #12587
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I wouldn't worry. Some posters are just trying to put a good thing down.
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Old January 19th, 2015, 07:16 PM   #12588
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What's this women on about, "I love this horrible city", if she doesn't like these areas being regenerated and cleaned up and wants to live in a area that's run down. Find it and move there and enjoy the depravity.
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Old January 19th, 2015, 10:24 PM   #12589
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I wouldn't worry. Some posters are just trying to put a good thing down.
There are supporters and detractors.
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Old January 19th, 2015, 10:47 PM   #12590
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Using One Commercial Street as an example supporting her argument is weak.

The poorly planned, poorly constructed concrete council estates of the 1970s did far more damage to London than any office midrises in Aldgate will ever do.

And yet they didn't kill London's 'originality'.
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Old January 20th, 2015, 12:01 AM   #12591
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stravinsky View Post
There are supporters and detractors.
He makes some good points, but falls into the same logical trap that everyone does when predicting the future of city development.

Listing past examples of bubbles, or temporary changes, but then predicting the next change will be permanent.

The banks were in charge in the 80s, but don't worry, that was a blip. Now it's the housing developers. Except this time, they're here to stay and will doom the city forever. Only... why again? It's never explained.

Property is being sold at the moment the same way gold is. It's being stockpiled for when the markets recover to where they were in the early 2000s.

The idea what huge parts of London will become empty because nobody lives in the homes is absurd and detached from reality and logic.
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Old January 20th, 2015, 12:12 AM   #12592
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People should go live in the ghettos if they like the 'grit' so much.
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Old January 20th, 2015, 01:04 PM   #12593
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeKindOfBug View Post
He makes some good points, but falls into the same logical trap that everyone does when predicting the future of city development.
His article is pretty broad also, although using contemporary London examples, you could make the same points about every growing city around the world at any point in time of its history.

The examples given are always poor too. Obviously the high profile glamorous schemes get all the attention on here and in the press. Pragmatically luxury apartments on the edge of the ex-industrial river or in tall buildings (which is the inspiration behind this forum) make sense as their value-added views can subsidies the high maintenance of the tower or the cleaning and opening up of the industrial toxic land. Putting social housing in towers wasn't exactly successful last time.
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Old January 20th, 2015, 03:41 PM   #12594
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stravinsky View Post
I guess fears are more represented by thoughts like this than the loss of an American fast food outlet:

Are we losing the London we love?

Gritty, edgy London – the Soho haunts, the East End fixtures – is being taken over and redeveloped. It’s changing the capital, but who’ll be left to call it home?

For someone who really loves London, I’m starting to hate it a lot. The walk from my flat to Soho takes about 40 minutes, and on the way we pass One Commercial Street. It’s made of grey glass, like a big powerless telly. The only clear difference between this residential block and others nearby is that its name (unlike, say, Mettle & Poise, the Hackney Road development built in the ruins of a children’s hospital) doesn’t pretend it’s somewhere else.

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandst...ve-eva-wiseman
I feel like we have lost nothing... I am 20 now and I'm growing up in a London that is re-inventing itself while still holding some of greatest history in the world. To me, it is the greatest City in the world.

People like that who write for The Guardian are quite frankly making a mountain out of a mole-hill. As SE9 put it - the 50's/60's/70's brutal architecture and council estates didn't kill London's originality... I'm pretty sure these glass iconic and interesting developments aren't to either.


If we were knocking down the Houses of Parliament, the Tower of London, or even The Gherkin (thrown that one in there for a reason), then sure... it would be wrong. But replacing ugly low-budget 60's developments is not harming London. If we are going to go further into this debate; it was the Luftwaffe that destroyed some of London's architectual history - not what has/was/is replacing them.

At the end of the day, if you don't like living in London... Move. Go away somewhere else. No one is stopping them.
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Old January 20th, 2015, 06:27 PM   #12595
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SE9 View Post
Using One Commercial Street as an example supporting her argument is weak.

The poorly planned, poorly constructed concrete council estates of the 1970s did far more damage to London than any office midrises in Aldgate will ever do.

And yet they didn't kill London's 'originality'.
Aesthetically yes, but not socially. It's the gentrification and population displacement that people criticize. Soho and the East End used to be special places with historic buildings housing affordable flats, legendary clubs and old pubs etc. If that is now being demolished for luxury flats for overseas buyers people have a right to be angry. London is often celebrated for its unpolished centre where rich and poor can coexist and has been for centuries. Now it's beginning to resemble a boring ghetto for the rich.

There are a lot of incredibly ignorant forumers posting in this thread*. I know you're not one of them, but many seem to think that if a street is "cleaned up" and a new shiny glass building is constructed the area is instantly improved. There is very little understanding of social and historic context around here.

*Fine example right here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
If we were knocking down the Houses of Parliament, the Tower of London, or even The Gherkin (thrown that one in there for a reason), then sure... it would be wrong. But replacing ugly low-budget 60's developments is not harming London. If we are going to go further into this debate; it was the Luftwaffe that destroyed some of London's architectual history - not what has/was/is replacing them.
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Old January 20th, 2015, 06:39 PM   #12596
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Aren't you being ignorant and patronising to the people who actually live here, who have felt and lived with the social and historical context that you speak of ?.
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Old January 20th, 2015, 10:17 PM   #12597
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Bricks View Post
Soho and the East End used to be special places with historic buildings housing affordable flats, legendary clubs and old pubs etc. If that is now being demolished for luxury flats for overseas buyers people have a right to be angry. London is often celebrated for its unpolished centre where rich and poor can coexist and has been for centuries. Now it's beginning to resemble a boring ghetto for the rich.
That's a big "if" there. In truth, hardly a single building of any historic worth has been demolished in Soho in decades. And the social housing which you mention hasn't been moved either. By contrast, hundreds of great new restaurants and shops have been added to the area: if you have a taste for high-quality global cuisine and well-made and -designed goods, Soho is a dream now. And also, the economic activity generated pays for the upkeep and renovation of the wonderful historic buildings, pubs, and sites of the area.

In other parts of London there is some level of displacement of social tenants, although by and large new developments rehouse the social tenants on the same site or nearby. Journalists highlight exceptions to this general rule to push their political agenda; deceptive cherry-picking, that's the very nature of journalism.

The much more important issue doesn't concern social tenants or historic architecture. The issue is that average Londoners with solid jobs are being priced out of zones 1, 2, and 3. It's not a problem which be can fixed, though. It's caused by global trends and that's the price London pays for being a global city.
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Old January 20th, 2015, 11:36 PM   #12598
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I'd say the "right-to-buy" reforms of the 1980s were the major push for change on income level of residents, am I right?

Council housing was sold to long-time dwellers for affordable prices.

Dwellers jumped in if they could afford mortgages.

5 years later, housing prices in London started to rise significantly.

Dwellers, now owners, saw their chance to cash in, either selling their properties or renting them for high prices and moving elsewhere paying less.

Then the whole buy-to-let thing came around, right?

Real estate is more complex than evil-rich-guy-good-poor-guy narratives.
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Old January 20th, 2015, 11:56 PM   #12599
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Infinite Jest View Post
That's a big "if" there. In truth, hardly a single building of any historic worth has been demolished in Soho in decades. And the social housing which you mention hasn't been moved either. By contrast, hundreds of great new restaurants and shops have been added to the area: if you have a taste for high-quality global cuisine and well-made and -designed goods, Soho is a dream now. And also, the economic activity generated pays for the upkeep and renovation of the wonderful historic buildings, pubs, and sites of the area.
It's losing its character though. Hence the Save Soho campaign. The partial demolition of Walker's Court, demolition works around Denmark Street, the closing of decades old entertainment institutions etc all contribute.

Regarding housing I wasn't just talking about Soho. London is seeing council estates demolished left, right and centre and the replacement developments mostly have very few affordable flats. Hasn't thins been discussed to death in the UK section.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Infinite Jest View Post
It's not a problem which be can fixed, though. It's caused by global trends and that's the price London pays for being a global city.
Oh comon you know that's utter nonsense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roaming Girl
Real estate is more complex than evil-rich-guy-good-poor-guy narratives.
Except in the case you mention. It was basically Thatcher screwing up the situation simply on ideological grounds. Actually, the rich and powerful do dictate everything these days and politicians follow their lead, so the evil-rich-guy scenario is more fact than fiction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GB1
Aren't you being ignorant and patronising to the people who actually live here, who have felt and lived with the social and historical context that you speak of ?
Those are the people who generally worry about how much London has changed for the worse (in this case). Or are you referring to someone in particular? In any case, what I said previously is based in historical fact, wouldn't you agree?
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Old January 21st, 2015, 12:04 AM   #12600
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Bricks View Post
Aesthetically yes, but not socially. It's the gentrification and population displacement that people criticize. Soho and the East End used to be special places with historic buildings housing affordable flats, legendary clubs and old pubs etc. If that is now being demolished for luxury flats for overseas buyers people have a right to be angry. London is often celebrated for its unpolished centre where rich and poor can coexist and has been for centuries. Now it's beginning to resemble a boring ghetto for the rich.

There are a lot of incredibly ignorant forumers posting in this thread*. I know you're not one of them, but many seem to think that if a street is "cleaned up" and a new shiny glass building is constructed the area is instantly improved. There is very little understanding of social and historic context around here.

*Fine example right here:
The concrete estates of the 1970s didn't do social damage to London?

As built structures, they did more social damage to London than anything else in the 20th or 21st century thus far. The concentration of poverty, poor build quality, poor permeability, facilitation of crime, drug dealing and so on plagued them. One only has to look at where London's most notorious street gangs, drug cartels, crime hotspots, disenfranchisement and so on are. It's extremely telling that these estates are being demolished a mere 30-40 years after they were completed.

London, Inner London and Central London today are all much improved from how things were 10, 20 or 30 years ago. If we're talking vibrancy, safety, cosmopolitanism, cultural offerings, attractions, dining, cleanliness, diversions, transport and so on, it hasn't been better than now. If you think London in 2015 is boring, I shudder to think what you'd make of London in the 90s, let alone the 80s.

It's the demolition of the aforementioned 70s estates that is driving many of London's large developments today. A local example is the demolition of the Ferrier Estate, replaced by Kidbrooke Village. Replacing the old/failed/underutilised shouldn't be viewed as the problem, it should be viewed as steps towards the solution. We need more housing units, a densification of the city, with failed estates and brownfield sites being prime candidates for redevelopment.

London's greatest problem has been not building enough homes with respect to its population. This graph showing the ratio of house building to population increase between major cities is telling. Concerning the Soho establishments, it's Westminster Council to which your ire should be directed.
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