21st Century London: Shaping the Future Now | The Plan
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21st Century London: Shaping the Future Now

London today calls for the visitor to cultivate the art of navigation, and to make new mental, digital, social and cultural connections. The latest maps, apps (including TheCityPlan London, downloadable for free from the App Store) and, for architecturally minded visitors, expert New London Architecture centre tour guides, can assist the challenge. The city has reached a point where so much is going on right now that the best thing to do to get a raw sense of reality is to create one’s own tour across old boundaries, aided by a mix of local architectural scenes and the latest web information, in order to try to find out how it all fits together. That exercise will take some focus, because vivid scene shifts have just kept coming, from media image to physical territory. Just take the opening of the Olympic Park last summer for the Games, a location now partially publicly accessible, while its adaptation via the official Legacy Community Scheme with eight different design codes continues apace, creating five new neighbouring hubs.
Stratford City, the district overlooking the Park with £17bn of new transport links, includes the Westfield shopping mall that has attracted 47m visitors since it opened in Sept 2011, as well as The International Quarter, an office, hotel and residential hub in development. West 8’s more European pavement/landscaping scheme here was rejected in favour of a more prosaic, simple design with fewer elements to allow great flows of Stadium visitors to and from the transport hub. Stratford City began as a plan by stakeholders before London won the Olympic bid, and was instrumental in helping to drive political will to bid. Its western, unruly relative, Hackney Wick (artists hub) and the uncertain impact of the Olympic regeneration is already the subject of books by residents there. To the south, Pudding Mill Lane’s Sewerway, a piece of Bazalgette’s 1865 sewer system, was transformed in 2011 in Greenway, a...

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