Solved in the suburbs
the Emirates air line boarding point. A “polycentric city” depends on transport connectivity
deliver 10,000 homes on 300 acres around the capital. It shows plans for over-the-station development at South Harrow, Turnpike Lane, Morden and Burnt Oak.
“Getting the infrastructure right is key to how successfully London will operate,” says NLA’s Peter Murray. London’s largely radial transport links will be hugely augmented by the Elizabeth line which can be seen as driving further central growth, but has also turned “Zone 3 boroughs into Zone 1 boroughs”. Crossrail 2 will extend this effect north and south.
The new radial Overground line has been a great success, experiencing 258 per cent growth in users since it opened. New orbital routes need to be developed to ensure London’s polycentric character works better for all. Walking and cycling solutions are required that make centres more “liveable”, reducing and calming vehicle traffic and spreading commuter demand.
But housing is top of the political agenda. A generational divide has opened up between young people and older home owners. And while regeneration in the poorest areas has provided new homes for young professionals, these homes are too expensive for local people. This regeneration/gentrification excludes local residents, especially young people.
Mayor Sadiq Khan’s new London Plan is expected to be fairly radical in the way it seeks to accommodate this new growth in outer London. He needs to get it right, there are votes to be had in the outer centres. Peter Murray is worried that rich developers are calling the tune. “Which means they they have the upper hand in negotiating permissions for sites, while planners struggle to find the resources to plan the wider area.”
Londoners can play their part — and discover more about the momentous change taking place in the city’s outer centres — by going to see the London Towns exhibition.
Stratford: one of the two main towns outside the centre, the east London home of the 2012 Olympics is an example of the transformative powers of infrastructure investment. Lend Lease is creating a new £2.4 billion mixed-use business development at the southern entrance to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Barking: left, redevelopment of Vicarage Field shopping centre will bring 855 new homes, a new hotel, enterprise workspace, a school and a healthcare facility to a five-acre site between the centre and Barking station