Decentralisation of London and third place working

November 9, 2012

The Adaptable Suburbs project was interested to read in the AJ (following a tweet by UCL Planning’s Michael Edwards (@michaellondonsf), that a debate took place last night on the proposition that London’s future economic success lies in focusing growth on London’s suburban centres. The idea that the future lies in building new business hubs (to me, a new name for the old-fashioned serviced offices, which haven’t been a roaring success in many cases) seems to be a distraction from the need to grow our smaller centres more organically – by ensuring that the inevitable densification of the housing is not carried out at the expense of places of production. As the article states: small suburban workshops can easily be demolished and turned into residential buildings, but few residential sites will be changed to employment uses.” Absolutely, more’s the pity. I’d rather be looking at Ramidus’ ideas about bringing industrial activities away from the edge ‘parks’ back into the heart of the town centres. In this way demand for services, including coffee shops, can naturally evolve.

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