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Old March 12th, 2008, 01:17 AM   #21
Tall Rog
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I have read through all the posting on this thread and well... what can i say. I think London is rather special and trust me... I have traveled a lot. A hell of a lot. There are numerous slums in London, just take the light railway from the city to Canary Wharf and you will seem some, but then there are slums in just about any city. There are lots of old and well worn parts of London as well there should be, London is a very old city. The ridiculous road lay out in London City is down to the city's evolution and not design.

The term "Modern" is open to interpretation so lets not waste time on agreeing what is and is not modern about London... and don’t turn this into a debate about weather the UK and the rest of Europe is in decline, we are talking about buildings and architecture, not Global finance and politics.

This thread should be about Camden, which IMO is one of the places that makes London special. They very very last thing that Camden needs is modernizing. I hope that what ever rebuilding takes place after the fire looks exactly the same as the pictures posted.
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Old March 12th, 2008, 02:18 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by howelee View Post
Thank you for you comment, I agree most of what you said, mabybe I exaggerated london's backwardness, but i still hold a view that London, Britain and even the whole Europe is declining and becoming "outdated" quietly.
I simply cannot agree with this. I have been to Asia, and yes, there are many wonderful examples of modernity, but it is not all like this. Even Japan there are many examples where I found systems more advanced in Europe. But of cause there were also many things the other way around.

Europe is certainly not declining. If anything, it is going through a renaissance right now, architecturally and artistically.

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Originally Posted by howelee View Post
when I said "outdated", it doesn't only refer to the buildings, I also mean technology, economic progress,and people's ambitions. In these respects Europe doesn't have the leading edge over other countries any more, as it did in 1930s. but it seems that people here are still more or less eurocentric, few realize or care about the danger of being left behind, just like some londoners who are pround of Canary Wharf's skyline, they didn't know it was actually second or third world class.
As I have said, I have been to Asia, and to be honest, It didn't come across as a great modern place. Yes, there are far more modern buildings than say London, but much of this is to do with most parts of Asia finally reaching some level of economic growth where it has suddenly required a large number of new constructions.

But new doesn't always mean good. The far majority of high rise buildings in Shanghai are horrid apartment buildings, row after row after row. What benefit does this have over the Victoria row house which has it's own garden? It is certainly not attractive modernity.

Now, if you were to take the top modern buildings of Shanghai and London, I do suspect that London will be able to match anything from Shanghai. The buildings will not be as tall, but that is simply a cultural decision in planning committees in London, where tall skyscrapers are still not wanted by many people. But for quality modern developments, the sort of buildings that win prizes or turn heads, I am sure London will be able to match Shanghai pretty well.

And then when all that is done, in between these are the endless number of beautiful historical buildings that exist.

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Of course you can say Canary Wharf is the world's number one financial cerntre, you can say skyscapers is not a symble of prosperity, and tons of modern buildings in beijing doesn't necessarily mean it has transformed into a modern city. But why are people fuss about skyscapers and modern designs on this forum?
Keep in mind that this forum is for a small group of highrise fans. Most people don't care a damn, and most people I know (by a long shot) would rather live in a lowrise or house than in a prefab generically designed highrise.

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Britain is among top countries in Europe, so the trend of declining is still not that obvious. Look at Italy, look at Spain, they were once great empires, but now "sickman of Europe".
Again, this is a little odd. If Spain is a sick country, then you obviously havn't been there, or kept your eyes closed. Barcelona is considered by architects are a leading city in modern design. Have you seen the amazing constructions in Valencia?

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Will Britan, France or Germany follow the steps? no body can predict, but people tend to judge things by want they see at first sight, as I've been always believing, the future sometimes lies in the skylines.
I beg to differ. I love skylines, but I also demand that they be of high quality. Quantity is very different to quality.
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Old March 12th, 2008, 11:59 PM   #23
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Great pics, hk, I really like the character of that neighborhood. I have a minor, dumb question, though....maybe you or someone from London would know. Some of the funky stores in your pics are very narrow, and it doesn't appear like there's much room for entrances to the residences above the stores. Do residents there have to enter through the stores, or through the back of the building?
Usually there are entranced between the shops, but they are normally somewhat integrated into the shop-front, so can be a bit hard to spot unless you are looking out for them.

If there is no front entrance, then there will be an alleyway or mews at the rear of the shops that allows access to the residential flats above

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Old March 13th, 2008, 05:04 PM   #24
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I see, makes sense, thanks for the info. I really loved seeing those "mews" in London when I was there....it made for really interesting streetscapes. I was surprised to find that those were where the horses were kept....and now the homes there are probably worth millions!
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Old March 14th, 2008, 08:27 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by howelee View Post
I've seen all london's skyscaper proposals, none of them are impressvie,including the SHARD,this is what i can honestly say.
I can honestly say that you have no idea what youīre talking about. What an utterly ridiculous statement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by howelee
Competing with asian or US cities for "modern", london would definitely lose the game.
Yep, Houston must be really awesome to walk around.

Just because London isnīt just steel and glass with nothing to explore it doesnīt mean it isnīt a modern city. Most American cities have an ancient public transport system compared to London. And the greatest America cities (NYC, San Fran etc) are also the oldest ones.

As far as Asian cities go, what are you talking about? You donīt like slums? Asia isnīt really the place to be then is it? Yes Shanghai has some nice skyscrapers surrounded by modern commie blocks and extremely polluted air, gigantic grey highways etc, I fail to see how London loses to this..


Anyway, nice pictures
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Old March 14th, 2008, 08:29 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by howelee View Post
I've seen all london's skyscaper proposals, none of them are impressvie,including the SHARD,this is what i can honestly say.
I can honestly say that you have no idea what youīre talking about. What an utterly ridiculous statement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by howelee
Competing with asian or US cities for "modern", london would definitely lose the game.
Just because London isnīt just steel and glass with nothing to explore it doesnīt mean it isnīt a modern city. Most American cities have an ancient public transport system compared to London. And the greatest America cities (NYC, San Fran etc) are also the oldest ones.

As far as Asian cities go, what are you talking about? You donīt like slums? Asia isnīt really the place to be then is it? Yes Shanghai has some nice skyscrapers surrounded by modern commie blocks and extremely polluted air, gigantic grey highways etc, but I fail to see how London loses to this..


Anyway, nice pictures
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Old March 14th, 2008, 09:08 PM   #27
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CITY VS CITY

How much times have we seen these petty arguments? Just appreciate a city for what it is. A unique, individualistic and edgy city is always better than a safe, clean city with absolutely no character at all. London oozes character from the cracks in its pavements. That's something you can't buy. Those who moan about it's "slums": realize that throughout history, slum life has more or less always played a part in urbanity. If you're going to live in a city, then it's about time you get used to being side-by-side with poor people.

For me, the interesting thing about London is that much of it's character has been crafted down the years from it's own poor inhabitants. Just think, what would London be without it's East End, cockneys and market places? I can't even begin to imagine it. As I say, London does it's business with the rich, but it's heart is always with the poor.

I am one bizarre person who actually happens to like some of London's "slum areas". I grew up in Hackney and went to a shitty school where pupils would throw chairs at teachers and sell crack at lunchbreak. I'm not afraid to walk around the roughest of estates, and i'd rather live in Hackney than among the petrified, bloodsucking vultures of Notting Hill and Hampstead (as much as I do appreciate the architecture of the buildings that they inhabit).

So, if you don't appreciate London, or it just doesn't happen to fit your tastes, then shut up and leave the place rather than hang about moaning as if you haven't got a choice. Please.
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Old March 15th, 2008, 04:17 AM   #28
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Jubliee line extension is nothing special, just have a look at beijing, any tube line under construction there easily dwarfs it.
In terms of what needs to be built, maybe, but Bejing needs to catch up as London already has over 400km of metro lines and over 1000km of rail routes!

In terms of architecture, most Chinese metros look as dull as ditchwater compared to the Jubilee line extension or even the older stations.
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Old March 15th, 2008, 05:59 AM   #29
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In terms of what needs to be built, maybe, but Bejing needs to catch up as London already has over 400km of metro lines and over 1000km of rail routes!

In terms of architecture, most Chinese metros look as dull as ditchwater compared to the Jubilee line extension or even the older stations.
I don't think the rest of the Underground looks anything like the Jubilee Line extension. The older stations have been re-done, but they're still cramped with narrow staircases and a maze of tunnels that don't necessarily connect efficiently at interchanges. There isn't much that can be done to fix that either unless they raze everything and rebuild from scratch.

Functional architecture rules the day. It's public transit.
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Old March 15th, 2008, 08:06 PM   #30
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Howelee, I would much rather live in an old, but democratic country like Britain than a modern, corrupt one like China. It all looks nice, clean and modern on the surface, but once you delve deeper, you will see that very little has changed since Tiananmen Square in 1989.
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Old March 15th, 2008, 09:06 PM   #31
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Howelee, I would much rather live in an old, but democratic country like Britain than a modern, corrupt one like China. It all looks nice, clean and modern on the surface, but once you delve deeper, you will see that very little has changed since Tiananmen Square in 1989.
i can't agree you anymore, but i'm afraid 20 yeras later, the british will have nothing to brag about except their democracy, then you will be able to fully enjoy your right to vote for hypocritical politicians while living in the slum city of LONDON at the age of economic recession
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Old March 15th, 2008, 10:40 PM   #32
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i can't agree you anymore, but i'm afraid 20 yeras later, the british will have nothing to brag about except their democracy, then you will be able to fully enjoy your right to vote for hypocritical politicians while living in the slum city of LONDON at the age of economic recession
Have a nice life Howlee, goodbye.
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Old March 15th, 2008, 11:12 PM   #33
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i can't agree you anymore, but i'm afraid 20 yeras later, the british will have nothing to brag about except their democracy, then you will be able to fully enjoy your right to vote for hypocritical politicians while living in the slum city of LONDON at the age of economic recession
Serisouly wtf? Except democracy? Democracy is one of the most important things in society and life. Even if all Chinese cities were ten times cooler than London China is still a corrupt dictatorship.

Furthermore I find it hilarious that you compare London to a Chinese city and call London a slum!? London is much wealthier, clearner and safer than any of those Chinese cities. Not to mention all the great old (and modern) architecture London boasts. All cities have poor and run-down areas but to label on of the richest and most successful cities in the world as unmodern and slum like is ridiculous.
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Old March 16th, 2008, 06:12 AM   #34
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East London is quite a slum though. It's a whole world different from the West End, and not something I expected to see in a wealthy city. Camden is somewhat of an intermediary - a mix of poor and rich.
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Old March 16th, 2008, 06:30 AM   #35
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I think the word 'Slum' is relative - compare anywhere in the East End with a true slum in South America or Africa, and the East End will look positively delightful.

Sure, the East End is a little dirty, a little rough around the edges...some places are downright ugly and dilapidated. But find me a major world city that doesn't have areas comparable to the East End and i will give you a handsome reward .
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Old March 16th, 2008, 06:35 AM   #36
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Democracy is one of the most important things in society and life.
It seems that the Bush administration have not only brainwashed those ill-educated americans but also the citizens of the British Empire.

Well done, Army man, you've accomplished missions of dropping democacy bomb to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. I hope you next traget will be Russia and China.
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Old March 16th, 2008, 01:41 PM   #37
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It seems that the Bush administration have not only brainwashed those ill-educated americans but also the citizens of the British Empire.

Well done, Army man, you've accomplished missions of dropping democacy bomb to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. I hope you next traget will be Russia and China.
You are deluded. First of all Iīm not a citizen of the "British Empire". Secondly Iīm very much against tyranny but Iīm also very much against the whole "war on terrorism" crap and what Bush has done to his own country and to the rest of the world.

I do not believe that wars solve anything but that does not change the fact that China and in some fields Russia as well are undemocratic old school tyrannies.

But now back on topic - London.

Last edited by Mr Bricks; March 16th, 2008 at 04:35 PM.
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Old March 18th, 2008, 12:47 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by howelee View Post
i can't agree you anymore, but i'm afraid 20 yeras later, the british will have nothing to brag about except their democracy, then you will be able to fully enjoy your right to vote for hypocritical politicians while living in the slum city of LONDON at the age of economic recession
What on earth makes you think that the economy in the UK and Europe will drop to the level that we all live in slums.

The UK economy is doing very well at the moment. It is much higher on a per capita basis than China.

Secondly, China is still a developing country. Developing country's often have high growth figures because they need to build so much infrastructure. But all previous examples of developing country growths show that once they reach developed status, this slows down and averages out. China will be no different. You are deluding yourself if you think the Chinese economy will continue to grow at it's current growth rate after it becomes a developed nation.

China still has a long way to go. You might speak of slums in London, but they are small compared to the poverty that can be found in parts of China.
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Old March 18th, 2008, 04:03 PM   #39
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China still has a long way to go. You might speak of slums in London, but they are small compared to the poverty that can be found in parts of China.
It's true, many Asian cities have a shiny, modern skyscrapered downtown areas with shanty towns just a few miles away.... and it's much, much, worse than London, it's not even comparable! I don't think East London is a slum in a modern sense of the word, a more precise definition would be a bad neighbourhood or a bunch of bad neighbourhoods.
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Old March 18th, 2008, 04:34 PM   #40
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Nice pictures.
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