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The Developing City London : Vision 2050

Global Urban Architecture, World Commercial Centre design by Gensler architects

19 Jun 2012

The Developing City


The Developing City – Vision 2050

Design: Gensler

London consolidates its position as the world’s Financial Centre and emerges as the first genuinely “Global City.” The competition from New York, Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai is over. London has positioned itself as the capital of a global free trade zone which extends from the US to China. London is no longer one of two world cities; it is the only global city.

Barbican Quarter:
Barbican Quarter
image from Gensler

The migration of the financial service sector out of the City of London continues, and the City has been undergoing a dramatic evolution. This reinvention has enabled it to reposition itself as the global centre for trade and commerce.

The boundary of the ancient city has been reinforced creating a hub for commerce and trade, free from the historic obstacles of local law and custom. The City of London is now neutral ground, a visa free zone, managed by the Corporation under new global trade laws and is now the global regulation centre for the world’s commercial markets. The post-war development of the city created a “ring of opportunity” around the historic core and has provided the perfect platform for adaption and redevelopment in order to take the City to this next stage of evolution.

Aldgate Quarter:
Aldgate Quarter
image from Gensler

The City has returned to its historic position as a diverse mercantile centre, the years of financial and professional service dominance over. The City is now home to the prevailing technology, media and telecommunications sectors, the pharmaceutical companies, fashion, music and art – all exist alongside the lawyers and bankers.

The ‘Newspapers’ have returned, as new media companies to Fleet Street and software developers have immersed themselves within the City’s core, permeating from the City fringes they inhabited for the last 30 years. The City has become home to the world’s great exchanges, where human contact is once again prized above all else in this 24/7 global trading eco-system. The historic system of livery companies has also undergone a great renaissance, as world expertise clusters to deliver the full range of business and trade within the City walls.

Thames Quarter:
Thames Quarter
image from Gensler

Within this construct we see a City without private transportation, where underground rail, road and servicing is fully maximised releasing valuable opportunities for the creation of new public open space above – a series of linear parks providing a new inner city greenbelt. Conservation policy has remained high on the planning agenda preserving the historic City core within an intense framework of development.

A new mixed use, super high-rise zone on the Aldgate fringe towers over the historic eastern cluster, and sensitive refurbishment of the former meat market at Smithfield is now home to the London Life Sciences Exchange. Broadgate has finally merged with the Bishopsgate Goods Yard to create the largest concentration of tech media companies in the world, with the London Tech Media Exchange at its heart.

A new and extended cultural district has been developed around the Barbican with the new London Wall Park providing a spectacular public face to this world class cultural cluster. The number of residents in the Barbican has increased with new high rise apartments integrated within this historic development.

Shoreditch District:
Shoreditch District
image from Gensler

The completion of Crossrail and the upgrading of the Tube stations within the Square Mile have been supplemented by other key pieces of public transport infrastructure. A series of new airport terminals in each of the new City districts provide direct links to the remote runways located in the Thames Estuary. Crossrail Three and Crossrail Four have been completed, linking Liverpool Street with London Bridge and Moorgate with Waterloo.

As the City continues to reveal more of its history the gradual restoration of the River Fleet as a major new park running from the Thames to Hampstead has now been completed, and a continuous park connects all five regenerated districts . The City is finally reconnected with its river, the barrier of Upper Thames Street, which dislocated the City from the River in the 1960’s, is finally removed and a third new linear park connects the River Fleet Park in the west to the restored moat of the Tower of London in the east. The traffic and utility infrastructure is placed below ground providing world class infrastructure that secures the City’s place as the business capital of the world.

Exchange Quarter:
Exchange Quarter
image from Gensler


Internal team:

Adam Esposito; Aidan Thomas; Akshay Sethi; Anna Robinson; Benny Kim; Carolina Motolinia Carballo; Chris Howard; Claire Holton; Cynthia Leung; Danny Sun; Duncan Swinhoe; Ezhil Vigneswaran; Frazer Baggaley; Gabriela Vagala; Ian Mulcahey; Irena Stanisavljevic; James Lawrence; Juan Diaz; Julissa Lopez-Hodoyan; Karolina Skolimowska; Kenneth Allan; Louise Burnett; Louise Pearce; Lukas Gadeikis; Lukasz Platkowski; Mable So; Matthew Brien; Min Lee; Neha Singhal; Nick Gibbs; Nick McLoughlin; Paul Fineberg; Philip Denton; Philip Tidd; Riddhi Parakh; Rory Mac Tague; Samantha Barclay; Sarah Foque; Shean Yu; Simon Dickens; Simon Haberzettl; Tadas Pangonis; Tom McCreesh; Trevor To; Valeria Segovia Trigueros; William Ringer

External Team + Gensler Leading Team:

Adam Esposito; Alan Harbinson; Andrew Comer; Anna Robinson; Bill Addis; Chris Howard; Cynthia Leung; Dr Nancy Holman LSE; Duncan Phillips; Duncan Swinhoe; Eric Parry; Hugh Mulcahey Happold Consulting; Ian Mulcahey; James Lawrence; Jeremy Myerson RCA; Julissa Lopez-Hodoyan; Kevin Worster Siemens; Lukasz Platkowski; Mable So; Nick Gibbs; Nick Jackson; Nigel Miller; Paul Fineberg; Philip Tidd; Simon Dickens; Simon Haberzettl; Trevor To; Valeria Segovia Trigueros;

The Developing City – Vision 2050 images / information from Gensler

Gensler Architects

Location: London, England, UK

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