London is becoming more dynamic, more frenetic and more dramatic. But does this activity and wealth up the quality of life for Londoners? Will it create better transport, more beautiful squares and parks, streets and buildings? Can London's boom be made to create a more pleasurable city to inhabit? Or should we just revel in its chaos? 'Can London be both big and beautiful?' explores the merits and flaws of a rapidly growing city.

I personally think that more work and money should be invested in the restoration of the capital. We have beautiful buildings already, so why build these new extravagant buildings with masses of glass? And let the skyline be dominated by cranes. I love the fact that there is an historic gem round every corner in London.
Posted by: Stephen Day on 10/01/08 at 01:04PM
email: sday2@students.ucreative.ac.uk

London has already destroyed much of its urban fabric giving it a very fragmented appearance. Unfortunately much of the newest construction is repeating the mistakes made in the 50s and 60s. Many of the new buildings are devoid of human scale and ignore traditional rules of urban design. Despite the inclusion of pedestrian amenities, the explosion of sleek office estates has produced an urban landscape that is harsh, visually bleak, and uninspiring. More emphasis should be given to preserving districts rather then just individual buildings. A blank slate rarely produces great work. The best urban buildings are those that creatively detail with the restraint of responding to the existing context. As an American I have become an expert on this because in the US we have ruined virtually every city we have.
Posted by: Robert corby on 30/08/07 at 08:10PM
email: bcorby@clarkpatterson.com

Yes I believe it can. It's up to the architects and builders to have a bit more taste. Some of the buildings in Croydon but also the City and other place makes you wonder why they entered what is thought of as a relatively creative profession. The Victorians enlarged the city and did it well - most people like red brick. There's no reason why we shouldn't continue to produce attractive buildings and there's enough innovation around to find ways of doing this cost-effectively.
Posted by: ElisabethJ on 23/08/07 at 07:34PM

Yes I believe it can. It's up to the architects and builders to have a bit more taste. Some of the buildings in Croydon but also the City and other place makes you wonder why they entered what is thought of as a relatively creative profession. The Victorians enlarged the city and did it well - most people like red brick. There's no reason why we shouldn't continue to produce attractive buildings and there's enough innovation around to find ways of doing this cost-effectively.
Posted by: ElisabethJ on 23/08/07 at 07:26PM

The ugliest capital city in Europe.. no way back..
Posted by: Tiago Leitão on 23/08/07 at 04:26PM

London is already big but only beautiful in places. What we should do is leave the beautiful areas and improve the ugly ones. When London expanded outwards in the inter-war period it led to some nice suburbs but not so great inner cities. The difference: the suburbs were low rise and had large green spaces. Some central parts (e.g. Westminster and K&C) are like that too. We just need a drive to get to this standard elsewhere. Then all will be happy.
Posted by: Oliver Barclay on 19/06/07 at 07:01PM

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