.

.
Click above for what became the consented plan, plus Transport page.

2013-04-30

BBC: " 'Dutch roundabouts' could be seen in London next year"


Link to BBC web site

"Roundabouts like the ones used in the Netherlands separating cars from cyclists could be used in London as early as next year, the city's cycling commissioner has said.

"Trials of the layout are taking place at a research laboratory in Berkshire.

"The roundabouts do not conform with Department for Transport regulations as they stand.

"But Andrew Gilligan said if the trials continued to go well they could be seen in 2014."

Wed 1 May: Boris's Cycling Commissioner Andrew Gilligan at Cricklewood launch of cycling plan


Link to Evening Standard

"Road safety experts have opened the doors to their research centre to show how they plan to adapt London to cope with the cycling boom.

"Innovations include Dutch-style roundabouts prioritising cyclists; low-level traffic lights for riders; and hi-tech sensors attached to thousands of Boris bikes, to curb the rising number of collisions with HGVs.

"A £2 million Transport for London project is examining where the measures — many borrowed from continental Europe — can be implemented to remove accident blackspots.

"Scientists at the Transport Research Laboratory, whose expertise has influenced laws on drink-driving and phone use in cars, have tested the measures using motorists and cyclists from London."




Brent Cyclists:



"Brent Cyclists exists to campaign for better cycling conditions in Brent, and to help more people to cycle in Brent.

"London Cycling Campaign members who live in Brent are members of Brent Cyclists, and receive our newsletter. We also represent the interests of all who cycle, or would like to cycle, in Brent.

"We have meetings every month and regularly organise rides and social events. These are open to all. We take part in community events and give information and support to enable more people to cycle in Brent."

Cycling commissioner Andrew Gilligan to talk to Brent Cyclists

"On Wednesday 1 May 2013, we will have our Annual Meeting, at which the committee is elected, and the Mayor's Cycling commissioner, Andrew Gilligan, will attend to discuss with us the Mayor's Vision for Cycling in London. Linked to this, we will be officially launching our Cycling Plan for Brent. 

"Join us at 7:00pm in the Sala Room at the Crown Moran Hotel, 142–152 Cricklewood Broadway NW2 3ED. 

"The Leader of Brent Council, Clr Butt, the Lead Member for Children and Families, Cllr Arnold, and the Lead Member for Adults and Health, Cllr Hirani, will all be attending as well; you will have an unprecedented opportunity to put your views, as a cyclist, to the most important people in Brent Council. Don't miss it!"

2013-04-29

"Charity expresses concern over Barnet's Welsh Harp development plans"


Link to Brent and Kilburn Times

"A national charity which looks after and protects waterways across the country has expressed concern over a major housing development [at West Hendon] on the edge of a popular reservoir.

"The Canal and River Trust (CRT), which is responsible for maintaining around 2,000 miles of rivers and waterways across England and Wales, has said it is important to protect the Brent Reservoir.

"The reservoir, which borders Barnet and Brent and is popularly known as the Welsh Harp, is currently under threat from a development which could see around 2,000 new homes including four tower blocks dumped on its borders.

"... The application, from Barrett Homes will be considered by Barnet Council."


Later report:

"Public meeting over
Welsh Harp development
to be held at Brent Town Hall"
 
"Residents have been urged to attend a public meeting
to oppose a major housing development which could see
thousands of new homes and tower blocks dumped
on the fringes of a popular reservoir and beauty spot.

"Brent councillors are calling on residents to come to the
town hall this weekend to register their opposition to proposals
to build 2,000 new homes on the edge of the Brent Reservoir.

"The public meeting is in Committee Rooms 1,2 & 3
in Brent Town Hall at 5-7pm this Saturday, 4 May."


The current West Hendon area

The proposal. (The A5 Edgware Road is at the top)

The West Hendon area (top-left in image below) was originally part of the same 'Regeneration Area' as Brent Cross Cricklewood:



Barnet Times:
"Campaigners rally against development near Welsh Harp reservoir"

"Top economist Jeffrey Sachs says Wall Street is full of 'crooks' and hasn't changed since the financial crash." (Like the City of London, then)


Link to 'The Independent'

"In a cutting attack on America's financial hub, one of the world's most respected economists has said Wall St is full of 'crooks', and hasn't reformed its 'pathological' culture since the financial crash. ... He said:
"It’s financial fraud, on a very large extent. There’s also a tremendous amount of insider trading - you can even watch, when you are living in New York, how that works."

"In his live remarks, via videophone from New York, an emotionally-charged Sachs also ripped into practices at Goldman Sachs, and into the political classes on both the left and right, according to the New York Post."

'Local Works': "Save our communities from large supermarkets"


Link to web site

"Across Britain, the high street is in decline. The effects ripple through our communities. A major factor in this decline is the relentless rise of large supermarkets."

Supermarkets lead to local shops closing

"Over 80% of independent shops on our high streets have closed. Our local butchers, fishmongers, greengrocers and bakeries are shutting down. Meanwhile, hundreds of new supermarkets are opening, and supermarkets like Tesco and Sainsbury’s are increasing the number of local convenience stores they own.

"There is a devastating lack of choice for local people buying groceries because of the rise of the supermarkets: nowadays, supermarkets control a whopping 97% of the grocery market."

Supermarkets take money out of local communities

"Half of the turnover of an independent local retailer goes back into the local community, while just 5% of the turnover of a supermarket does. They take money out of communities and put into the hands of profit-hungry supermarket bosses."

"Good News on House Prices": Average price of a London house soars 10 per cent in 12 months


Link to Evening Standard

"London house prices have surged by almost 10 per cent to a new all-time high, in a spring property bounce.

"The average value of a home in the capital rose by 2.5 per cent in March alone, to £374,568, according to official Land Registry data.

"... However, the rise will fuel concerns about the chronic lack of affordable housing to buy and rent in London. There was also a warning about the risk of 'overheating'. Jonathan Hopper, managing director, at property search consultants Garrington, said:
"What the capital needs is a steady and sustained recovery, not frenzied growth."

2013-04-28

Evening Standard: "Why I never shop at Primark"

"As almost 300 die in the Bangladesh factory tragedy, fashion editor Karen Dacre says consumer power must force changes in cheap clothing manufacture"

Link to web site

"I admit when I heard of Primark’s connection with the disaster that took place at the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh on Wednesday — the chain is a customer of New Wave Style, the largest factory within the building— and the 273 bodies pulled from the rubble, I felt a sense of inevitability. 

"This latest factory disaster with direct links to the British clothing industry involved a chain that — I presumed — placed the importance of cheap clothes at the pinnacle of its agenda.

"... Primark says it will continue an ongoing review into the Bangladeshi industry’s approach to factory standards and into its building integrity, adding:
"The company is shocked and deeply saddened by this appalling incident."
"It would be too easy for opponents of the chain to put all of the blame on Primark and its fellow retailers. We cannot ignore the huge responsibility suppliers like New Wave have to their employees to pay a fair living wage and keep them safe, plus the role that governments — internationally and in Bangladesh — must play in monitoring factory conditions.

"The finger of blame also points in my direction. As a high-street fashion shopper, I’m certainly complicit in the suffering. While I’m happy to enquire about the contents of burgers in Tesco, I’ve yet to ask the sales assistant in my favourite high-street shop to clarify the origins of a blazer I 'have to have'.

"Today I realised that it might make a difference if I did."

Daily Telegraph: "Mary Portas on the shop closest to her heart"


Link to web site

"[There is a] fight to save our local high streets. Why are they worth fighting for? Because, although it is shops that make high streets, at their heart they are about more than shops, more than selling; high streets are the heartbeat of our towns and neighbourhoods.

"They are the places where we meet neighbours, have coffee with friends, take our children to the doctor, get medicine from the pharmacy. They are where we get to know the shopkeepers and service providers who play a vital role in our communities and our lives. If we lose that, we lose our sense of belonging, and a social infrastructure that is vital to us as human beings.

"So what is the future? We have to roll up our sleeves to make our own future, first discerning what is essential to our communities; we are all stakeholders in our towns and high streets, not only the residents. Each high street should be different, according to the needs of each community.

"One thing I know for sure is, if you don’t use your local high street, you shouldn’t be surprised when it disappears. Do you really want to be left with the option of shopping either online or at an out-of-town retail park?"

London Borough of Barnet's attitude to the interests of cyclists


(Source)

2013-04-26

[Reminder from Jan 2012] Evening Standard: Boris [original wording: 'Boris Aide'] says Hammerson's Brent Cross Cricklewood is "DEAD IN THE WATER"


"£4.5bn Brent Cross revamp is set to shrink"

Link to Evening Standard

"Boris Johnson is set to tear up a massive regeneration scheme in London, in a bid to spark new life into Brent Cross shopping centre. The Mayor is considering whether to 'de-couple' the plans to revamp Britain's oldest mall from the wider 20-year regeneration of Cricklewood.

"Sarah Teather, the Liberal Democrat MP for Brent Central, said:
"If there are going to be major changes to the current plans, it is vitally important that they are published, and local residents are consulted."
"The scheme - said to be the biggest in London outside the Olympics - attracted more than 500 objections, with many fearing more congestion on the North Circular."

Barnet Times: "Developers reject claims £4.5 billion Brent Cross Cricklewood project is 'Dead in the Water'" (which is what BORIS called it - so it's probably true!)


Link to web site

"Developers claim they are 'committed' to the controversial Brent Cross Cricklewood redevelopment, despite campaigners’ concerns part of the scheme will be scrapped.

"The £4.5 billion plans include doubling the size of Brent Cross Shopping Centre and a large scale regeneration of Cricklewood, including new office blocks and houses.

"Brent Cross Cricklewood Development Partners Hammerson and Standard Life say they will carry out all of the work alongside Barnet Borough Council, although a new partner will be drafted in to help out."



2013-04-24

Brent & Kilburn Times: "Mystery surrounds the future of £4.5bn Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration scheme"


Link to web site

"Mystery surrounds a controversial scheme to regenerate Cricklewood and Brent Cross, after it was revealed Barnet Council officials were seeking a new partner for the scheme.

"The long-running saga, which campaigners have been battling against, will see the shopping centre in Hendon doubled in size, and a large scale regeneration of the Cricklewood area will follow.

"But campaigners [what, us?] claim the latest development show the £4.5-billion plans have been scrapped, and say it was only ever about doubling the size of the shopping centre.

Cycling: Parliament's Key Proposals


'The Times' factsheet: Click to enlarge


HM Government: e-petition

Promote cycling by implementing the recommendations in the 'Get Britain Cycling' report

Responsible department: Department for Transport


"We the undersigned call on the Prime Minister to pledge that the Government will implement the recommendations in the 'Get Britain Cycling' parliamentary report.
The inquiry, chaired by a cross-party panel of MPs and peers, heard that promoting cycling as a healthy and affordable way to travel can tackle Britain's obesity crisis, save millions from NHS budgets, boost the economy and reduce congestion on our roads and trains.

The inquiry’s 18 recommendations focus on reallocating investment, safer road design, lower speed limits, better training and strong political leadership.


This will require cross-departmental consensus led from the Cabinet Office and Downing Street, not just from the Department for Transport.


In the Commons on February 22, 2012, the Prime Minister said of The Times's ‘Cities Fit for Cycling’ campaign: “If we want to encourage the growth in cycling we’ve seen in recent years, we need to get behind campaigns like this.”


Now is the time to act on those words."

Brent & Kilburn Times: "Brent group to meet with London’s new cycling commissioner in bid to transform the borough"


Link to web site

"London’s Cycling Commissioner Andrew Gilligan will be meeting with community group Brent Cyclists as he looks to decide which boroughs will benefit from Mayor of London, Boris Johnson’s pledge to invest £900m in cycling.

"Previously the Times reported that Brent Cyclists, which has around 200 members, had outlined a detailed report into why Brent should benefit and be transformed into a ‘mini-Holland’.

"The report includes suggestions on transforming traffic hotspots with cycle lanes and building a connection between Neasden and Wembley, currently obstructed by the railway line and North Circular Road.

"... The group will meet with Mr Gilligan at the Crown Moran Hotel in Cricklewood Broadway [in BARNET!], next Wednesday, at 7pm.

2013-04-23

'Association of Town Centre Management': A Manifesto


Link to animated manifesto

"ATCM (web site) works with all those interested in promoting the vitality and viability of town and city centres, in the UK and further afield, and we have four principal areas of work.."


Places
"We work with our members in making places better. Our focus is on district, town and city centres but improvements in these can cumulatively contribute to making urban areas, regions and indeed nations better places."
People
"We work with our partners to develop the people who work in all aspects of town centre management or BID development to ensure they have the wide range of knowledge and skills to do a great job."
Partnerships
"We work with stakeholders to create effective partnerships that are accountable and sustainable and are able to make change happen. This includes town and city centre management and Business Improvement Districts (BID)."
Policy
"We liaise with governments and other bodies to ensure a positive policy framework for town and city centres in planning, transport, housing, policing and security, tourism, investment, competition, taxation and funding."

[Reposted] Starting 26 April: "The Food Market, Brent Cross"




"OPEN EVERY FRIDAY AND SATURDAY FROM 26TH APRIL"

FRIDAYS: 10AM - 4PM
SATURDAYS: 9AM - 4PM


"Brent Cross is soon to be home to over 50 mouth-watering street dining and fine food market stalls, selling a taste tantalising medley of premium and award-winning dishes and produce.

"The Food Market at Brent Cross is one of London's largest gatherings of food loving chefs, artisan gourmets and producers whose passion for food will inspire your own.

"Savour the tastes and aromas, talk to the experts and pick up a few tips on preparing and cooking exquisite produce at home. Or combine great taste and great value with a gourmet meal or snack inspired by the Far East, Caribbean and all corners of the globe.

"The Food Market at Brent Cross offers a wide variety of stallholders catering to every taste:

Bakeries - Traditional Fishmongers - Cheesemongers and Dairies - Butchers and Game Specialists - Fresh, Seasonal Fruit, Organic Vegetables and Salads - Mediterranean and other European Foods, Aromatic Spices and Sauces - Chutney's Pickles and Preserves - Oils and Vinegars - Street Food Vendors - Irresistable [sic] Homemade Cakes

"Among the handpicked traders are:

  • Wildes Cheese - dubbed "the urban cheesemaker" this Haringey-based micro-dairy produces handmade artisan cheeses including 'The Smelly One' and 'The Drunk' (made with London Pride ale).
  • Ion Patisserie - this Borough Market favourite is venturing north with her delicious cheesecakes, banoffee pies, tiramisu...
  • Wild Country Organics - this modern organic, family-run farm has spent the last twelve years developing new growing techniques to improve the quality of their produce and now wow with a wide range of tasty organic vegetables and salads.
  • Karantania Delicatessen - unique Euproean artisan food and drink made using the freshest local and seasonal ingredients without any preservatives or artificial additives.
"Two stalls are being set aside for local entrepreneurs who want to debut their gourmet produce. If you are local and would like to be part of The Food Market, Brent Cross, please call the organisers, Keay Events, on 01923 726151.

"Find us outside John Lewis on Prince Charles Drive. Sat Nav NW4 3FP. There's easy parking with over 8,000 FREE customer parking spaces."



"Battery-hen Britain: Britons now live in the smallest homes in western Europe with the average one-bed new-build the same size as a Tube carriage"


Link to Daily Mail (includes video)

"An average new one-bedroom flat has shrunk to the size of a Tube train carriage and is risking the health and family life of thousands who live in miserable 'cramped, dark' homes, experts said today.


"Developers bent on making more cash are now cramming a lounge, kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom into just 46 square metres, research has found.


"This means that many are living in the same area taken by a Jubilee Line carriage in London, leaving residents to 'suffer' badly, according to Kevin McCloud, star of Grand Designs.


Overall, the average UK home is now 76 square metres, ten per cent smaller than 30 years ago, making British properties the tiniest in Western Europe.

BBC: "A life lived in tiny flats"


Link to web site

"The UK has some of the smallest new homes in Europe. So how can people cope living in a small space?

"Small is beautiful. But not if you have to live in it, a studio flat dweller might respond.

"The UK has a housing crisis. A shortage of homes has pushed prices out of the reach of many hoping to get onto the ladder. But once they get there, they may be disappointed - the UK has some of the smallest properties in Europe."

"Property: Brady badgers MPs not to build boxes"


Link to Evening Standard

"Just about every president of the Royal Institute of British Architects, since Rod Hackney in the late Eighties, has attacked housebuilders for designing tiny boxes. Angela Brady is no different.

"The purposeful Irishwoman spent Tuesday presenting a third initiative since 2009 to rouse the population against wicked developers.

" 'Please, speak up, now,' says Brady, pointing to a new website called withoutspaceandlight.com: 'Now, because the Government is to review housing standards. The site holds a standard letter allowing you to badger your MP'."


North Finchley Town Team launched


"A Town Team dedicated to giving North Finchley a boost has been launched.

"Sixteen board members have been elected to represent local businesses, charities and the public sector. The board will now focus on widening the membership of the town team, with people able to become a full member with voting rights or play a more dedicated role as a subgroup member.

"The Town Team aims to help make North Finchley Town Centre a place that people want to use, enjoy, return to and where businesses can thrive in an attractive and distinctive environment. The Town Team will also support Barnet Council in delivering the £1.1m awarded to North Finchley last year from the Mayor’s Outer London Fund with just under £400,000 match funding from the Council.

"The fund will be partly used to establish a ‘Cultural Quarter’ in the southern end of the town centre around the artsdepot and Tally Ho Corner providing for a range of community activities. New signage, lighting and landscaping including tree planting and decluttering are proposed, as well as enhancements to buildings and shopfronts. A programme of events will be delivered to give the town centre a boost and opportunities will also be created to support young people in the local area, including the creation of three apprenticeships.

"Public realm design specialist, muf architecture/art and Retail Revival, a business support consultancy have already been appointed to help deliver the physical improvements to the area as well as provide support and training to local shops and traders.

"Town Team Board community member Brenda Goldberg said:
“As a long time resident of North Finchley, I’m very keen to see the town centre become a more vibrant and thriving area for the local community, and also residents from neighbouring communities, to visit, to shop and for leisure. This tranche of funding from the OLF Fund will enable us to actively achieve this, rather than simply talking about it!”
"Some money has been spent so far [sic - already?] from the fund on last year’s Olympic Torch Spectacular and youth festival events in Victoria Park, as well as carrying out a North Finchley parking review and the Christmas Tally Ho Ho Ho! event.

"Councillor David Longstaff, Cabinet Member for Safety and Resident Engagement and North Finchley Outer London Fund Member Champion, said:
“This is an impressive team, which combines members from all walks of life in the North Finchley area. Together I am sure they will be able to provide the vision and local insight we need to nurture the area and inspire our residents to visit again.”

2013-04-22

The Independent: "Tesco has not passed it's sell-by date, but its blunders are costly"


Link to web site

"Philip Clarke, Tesco's chief executive ... admitted that Tesco had misjudged the 'space race' between UK supermarkets to build hypermarkets, leading to the £804m property write-down. He also conceded the retailer had been slow off the mark to move online.

"... That's three whopping errors, quite apart from the neglect of the UK stores and the mis-selling of payment protection insurance. They come at a huge cost: analysts say the write-downs are equivalent to 15 months of shareholder dividends.

"So the question is: how did such a brilliant retailer come to make such blunders? Did bosses get too big for their boots?"



"We know a story about bosses getting too big for their boots, don't we? And today, it's through the square window ..."


"Earls Court: Eric Pickles bulldozes 'big society'"


"The government's backing for a controversial west London redevelopment scheme confirms the weakness of its commitment to localism"

Link to The Guardian

"Any tattered vestige of hope that David Cameron's promise to build a 'big society' was something more than a tissue of spin can be fed to the shredder following last week's decision by his communities secretary Eric Pickles to approve Tory borough Hammersmith and Fulham's desire to sell off land containing 760 homes to property developer Capital and Counties (Capco) for demolition.

"The vast majority of the community living in those homes do not wish them destroyed. Their elected representatives want to take ownership of the two estates that the homes form and run them through a community-led housing association under powers that, more than two years ago, Pickles's department said it would provide, but has so far failed to.

"Cameron now looks more like the premier for belittling society, and Pickles the minister for bulldozing communities."

"Green spaces boosts wellbeing of urban dwellers - study"


Link to BBC web site
"Parks, gardens and green space in urban areas can improve the wellbeing and quality of life of people living there, says a University of Exeter study.

"Using data from 5,000 UK households over 17 years, researchers found that living in a greener area had a significant positive effect.

"The findings could help to inform urban planners and have an impact on society at large, they said."

2013-04-21

BBC: "The peril of 'showrooming'"


Link to web site

"Have you ever seen something you wanted in a shop, tried it, checked the price online on your smartphone, found it was cheaper, and walked out? Welcome to the world of 'showrooming'.

"The staff at Jessops would like to thank you for shopping with Amazon" read the sign in a shop window shortly after the British camera chain went into administration.

It was a dry reaction to a growing problem for "bricks and mortar"-focused retailers. Showrooming is said to have exacerbated the decline of high-profile brands like Comet.

Gadget stores, bookshops and the cosmetics industry are all losing sales to showroomers, but solutions have proved hard to find.


Daily Telegraph: "Sir Terry Leahy: we must put the heart back into our high streets"


Link to web site (may see pay wall)
"I’d like to highlight three changes in particular that need to happen:
  1. We need to stop the steady rise in car park charges, which deters shoppers from venturing out. Many people rely on the car to shop. Rather than hitting them with higher charges, supermarkets, local amenities (like leisure centres) and councils should come together to think how big, free car parks can draw people into town centres.
  2. A neighbourhood plan could be put together to revive a local high street, in which case there should be just one architect and just one team in charge, empowered by the local community to transform their neighbourhood. ...
  3. Business rates need radical reform. When recession hits, small shopkeepers can see their revenues collapse through no fault of their own, but the business rates they pay remain the same. The system must change so that rates reflect the economic activity of the store.
"I know what you are thinking: 'He may say all this, but in reality the supermarkets and chain stores will squeeze out small operators.' [Yes, we ARE thinking that.] The truth is that money is needed to reinvent high streets, and the most likely source of that investment is going to be large retailers and property companies.

Between them they have expertise, understanding of consumers, and the incentive to create sustainable, attractive places to shop. They know that consumers shy away from identikit high streets in which old buildings have been torn down in the name of functionality [says the man from TESCO]. A diverse range of outlets including chains, boutiques, places to eat and have fun – this is where the money now lies."



Channel 4 News:
"Sir Terry Leahy
Small shops closing is 'part of progress'."




"Reinventing the High Street:
join the Telegraph campaign"

 "The Telegraph's Reinventing the High Street campaign
aims to regenerate our historic shopping communities
for future generations. Find out how you can get involved."

2013-04-20

The Motley Fool: "Is Now the Time to Buy Hammerson?"


Tinkle my bell

"2012 was a transformational year for Hammerson, the company completely restructured its property portfolio, selling off its office space and focusing on high-quality retail assets, such as shopping centres, retail parks and designer outlets. [sic]

"Unfortunately, this worries me, as now the company has no diversification within its property portfolio, leaving Hammerson exposed to the fragile retail environment, both within the U.K. and France - where the company also has some retail premises.

"... Hammerson still offers a lower than average dividend yield, and the company remains exposed to the fragile retail environment, so overall, I believe now does not look to be a good time to buy Hammerson at 512 pence."

2013-04-18

[Reposted from March 2012] Questions to the Mayor (oh, crumbs!)



Mayor answers to London

Brent Cross regeneration scheme

Question number0491/2012
Meeting date22/02/2012

Question by Mike Tuffrey

Following reports of the 'de-coupling' of precinct upgrades from plans to regenerate wider Cricklewood, can you provide an update on changes planned to the £4.7 billion regeneration scheme for Brent Cross?

Answer by Boris Johnson

There are no plans to decouple as you suggest. I am however keen to investigate options around the phasing of the development with LB Barnet and the developer to ensure the delivery of this vitally important regeneration scheme.



Mayor answers to London

Brent Cross

Question number0578/2012
Meeting date22/02/2012

Question by Navin Shah

The Evening Standard described Brent Cross Cricklewood as being "dead in the water" and quoted you as advocating Brent Cross shopping centre expansion alone, without other community benefits, including new housing. In concrete terms, what were you suggesting, and were your comments at variance with the approved planning permission for the site?

Answer by Boris Johnson

I would still like to see the wider regeneration scheme come forward, but in order to deliver the schemes wider benefits, including considerable community benefits it may be necessary to reconsider the phasing of the development. I am keen to investigate all options with the local authority and the developer in order to realise this scheme.


"100 Days to Go: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park prepares for official North Park opening"


Link to LLDC web site
(Can we have a BXCDC, please?)

"The London Legacy Development Corporation today marked 100 Days to Go until the official opening of North Park, when it will welcome thousands of visitors back to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for a summer of entertainment and events.

"Since taking control of the Park in November 2012, the Legacy Corporation has been undertaking a huge programme of work to transform the site and its iconic venues ready for public use.

"The £292m construction programme, one of the largest in Europe, is on track to deliver Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – a new part of London to live, work, visit and invest. The Park will soon begin to re-open in phases as works reach completion, starting with the official opening of North Park in July 2013.

"This will include the Copper Box, London’s third largest arena at 2,743m2 (equivalent to 12 badminton courts), North Park Cafe and community space with a stunning new playground and open spaces for visitors to walk, play and enjoy."


Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, and Chairman of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said:
(tap)...(tap)...Is this thing on? Good Lord! ... OK, let's see what they've given me... This time last year we were putting the finishing touches on what was to become the greatest ever Olympic and Paralympic Games. Twelve months on, the long-term future of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is bright, dispelling the fears of white elephants and tumbleweed. (Unlike the Brent Cross Hammerson 'Dead in the Water' business! ... Now where was I?) With a world-beating summer of sport and music lined up, and as new schools, homes and neighbourhoods take shape, we are on track to deliver a lasting legacy for Londoners. ... to propel me into Number 10. ... Is that it? ... Well, I thought that went rather well, didn't it?

2013-04-17

Architecture for Kids: "Discovering King’s Cross: A pop-up book / Michael Palin, Jay Merrick, Dan Cruickshank." (Also, a thoughtful gift for useless developers, such as Hammerson)


Link to 'arch daily' web site

"With its recent transformation, King’s Cross station has re-emerged as one of london’s most iconic buildings. 

"Built in 1852, its elegance and simplicity stood in stark opposition to the neo-gothic extravagance of neighbouring St Pancras, and held its place as a prototype of modern architecture.

"The story of this station is a fascinating one. It’s a tale of changing fortunes and tides that follows the ascent and decline of Britain’s railways."


Regeneration+Renewal: "Tesco scraps plans to develop more than 100 sites"


Link to web site

"Supermarket chain Tesco has announced that it has identified more than 100 sites in its property portfolio that it no longer intends to develop as they are 'not viable'.

"... A statement from the supermarket said the majority of the sites had been bought between five and ten years ago at a "higher point in the property cycle".

"... Tesco was asked by Planning/R+R to provide a list of the 100 sites, but had yet to do so at time of publication."

2013-04-16

“The object of a retail tradesman is to get as many people as he possibly can in a street”


Link to 'RoadsWereNotBuiltForCars'

"More and more cities around the world are waking up to the fact that it’s people who shop, not cars. Designing streets for cars, and not people, can therefore reduce retail takings. Take Regent Street in London, for example. It’s one of London’s prime shopping streets, but it’s not very friendly to pedestrians. Instead, it’s friendly to cars and buses.

"... Such thoughts are nothing new. Making shopping streets friendly for shoppers has been something talked about, but often not actioned, for a long time."

2013-04-13

"Speed Kills: The Complex Links Between Transport, Lack of Time and Urban Health"


Link to NIH web site

"Road safety experts understand the contribution of speed to the severity and frequency of road crashes. Yet, the impact of speed on health is far more subtle and pervasive than simply its effect on road safety.

The emphasis in urban areas on increasing the speed and volume of car traffic contributes to ill-health through its impacts on local air pollution, greenhouse gas production, inactivity, obesity and social isolation.

"In addition to these impacts, a heavy reliance on cars as a supposedly ‘fast’ mode of transport consumes more time and money than a reliance on supposedly slower modes of transport (walking, cycling and public transport). Lack of time is a major reason why people do not engage in healthy behaviours."

2013-04-11

Barnet Times


"Made for Walking: Density and Neighborhood Form"


Link to PPS web site

"Arguments about density are often front and center when walkability is being discussed. We know that density is an important factor in encouraging more walking (and discouraging driving), but walkability is a particularly complex, and seemingly ephemeral quality. 

"Whether or not a person chooses to walk depends on so many factors beyond just the physical fabric of a place, from the socioeconomic to the psychological. As a result, there’s not always a one-to-one relationship between a neighborhood’s form and its walkability.

"... The results here seem to support an argument that Placemaking advocates have been making for some time now: that it is not physical density itself, but the richness of a place that influences peoples’ decisions on whether to walk or use other modes of transportation to get around their communities. 

"A dense place may very well still be a total place desert depending on how it is arranged, while there are scores of small towns and villages around the world that, while not physically dense, feature a rich mix of overlapping uses that make walking the default choice."