Tag Archives: London

Victoria’s secret: how a carbuncle got away with it

Building Design magazine’s awarding of its Carbuncle Cup for this year’s worst new building to Nova, a new office and retail development around the corner from London’s Victoria Station, sets off predictable reactions. How could it have been built? Who … Continue reading

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Five reasons why cutting the number of MPs from 650 to 600 is a bad idea – and one silver lining

Constituency boundary changes don’t just matter to map anoraks or political obsessives (I’m a bit of both). And the proposals won’t just mean a cull of MPs: they will reshape our politics by disenfranchising millions of voters. With no suggestion … Continue reading

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A month on, Sadiq Khan’s victory in London no longer looks mould-breaking. In fact it’s a welcome return to politics as usual

A month on, how mould-breaking does Sadiq Khan’s election as mayor of London feel? Yes, it was a historic moment: the first time that a Muslim was elected as mayor of a western capital city. The message it sends to … Continue reading

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Inside the planning committee: it’s not enough to say it’s all fair and impartial. You have to show it is, too

What goes on at Town hall planning committees these days? In theory it works like this. A committee of about a dozen councillors, politically balanced to match the composition of the council as a whole, assesses planning applications based on … Continue reading

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My old snapshot from 1991 shows how the London skyline has changed utterly – and how it has stayed the same

Sorting through some old photos in my cellar a few months ago I came across a snapshot of the London skyline I took, as a callow 17-year-old, in the autumn of 1991. Out of curiosity, in late 2014 I went back … Continue reading

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So long, Greenwich. I predict that by 2050 you’ll swallow up Lewisham and Bexley. The Thames Barrier will be a boutique hotel. And everyone will be mad as hell about air pollution

I’m moving out of London later this week, with my partner and our daughter, after 35 years living in the borough of Greenwich – the last 16 of them as a Labour councillor here. There are few things more boring than ex-councillors … Continue reading

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A Garden Bridge? No thank you, Joanna Lumley: London is ‘Bosky’ enough already

What’s not to like about the proposed Garden Bridge across the Thames? It’s designed by Thomas Heatherwick, a walk-on-water design superstar who came up with the Olympic Cauldron as well as the new Routemaster bus. It would, we are told, … Continue reading

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