Are tall buildings necessary for London to remain a competitive world city?

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Are tall buildings necessary for London to remain a competitive world city?

On February 10, 2004 mayor of London Ken Livingstone introduced the London Plan, the first proactive strategy in over thirty years to deal specifically with the planning and development of London. Since an increase in London's population by 800,000 is expected by the year 2020 , the mayor has suggested the construction of high-rise buildings as the method most likely to enable London to grow in a controlled and steady manner and maintain its status as a world city. A key part of the plan, the mayor's proposal for high-density towers throughout the city, has heightened the debate between urban planners and heritage groups as to whether the construction of tall office and housing complexes is necessary and/or appropriate for London. Based on recent documents, articles and essays and London's need to remain competitive with New York and Tokyo as a world class city, the construction of tall buildings in London is a necessity, especially due to certain factors such as the need to preserve historic views, the lack of available space and London's poor transport system.

The ongoing debate over whether tall buildings would best serve London and sustain and enhance its status as a world-class city has dominated the political and metropolitan structural-design arenas during the last ten years. On one side are heritage groups and conservationists claiming that an increase in the number of tall buildings would block strategic views of London's historically significant landmarks. For example, the organization English Heritage has stated that the tall buildings are a cultural issue and their role is first and foremost of image and aesthetics rather than economic,...

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...22, 16 February 2004

Government of London, 'London's skyline, views and high buildings,' Planners and Development Economists 16 February 2004

Government of London, 'The London Plan.' Ken Livingstone. 17 February 2004

Hamnett, 'The transformation of London's occupational structure and the rise of the new middle class,' Unequal City. (Routledge) pp. 70

Livingstone, Ken. 'The only way is up,' The Independent. 2 November 2002.

London School of Economics, 'London should grow up says new report on tall buildings' archives/2000-2002/Tall_Buildings.htm 13 February 2004

Newman, P, Thornley, A. 'Fragmentation and centralization: Influencing the urban policy agenda in London' Urban Studies 34. The Editors of Urban Studies: 2997. pp 981
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