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Globe: Skyscrapers threaten London, Prince Charles says

AKS

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3005399759_dd9fcfdc65.jpg

Is that London? What's so historic looking about it? The buildings look like Mississauga like someone pointed out.
 

adma

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Oh, you know, London was blown up during the Blitz. That must be how they rebuilt it. They rebuilt lotsa cities like that: Rotterdam, Le Havre, etc.

Sarah Palin would believe me, I'll betcha.
 

androiduk

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The following was written by E. V. Lucas. From the book 'A Wanderer in London'

"Never in the recent history of London have so many changes come so rapidly as in the year or two preceding this. To which belong, not only the rise of the car but the elimination of hundreds of landmarks and the sweeping away of whole streets drenched with human associations. Such is the ruthless march of utilitarianism and luxury, that one has come to entertain the uneasy feeling that nothing is safe."

"He who would see London before London becomes unrecognisable must hasten his steps. The modern spirit can forgive everything except age."

This was written in 1906!

BTW, even though Parisians are against it, I believe Paris will soon start allowing highrises in the city centre.
 
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Hipster Duck

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BTW, even though Parisians are against it, I believe Paris will soon start allowing highrises in the city centre.

Yes, Paris has, in fact, allowed a substantial amount of high rise construction within the peripherique - at least since the beginning of the 5th Republic in the 1960s. What I don't see happening is allowing skyscrapers within the circle framed by the 2 and 6 Metro lines. That's sort of the inner sanctum of the capital and, I think, is pretty untouchable.
 

allabootmatt

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Wouldn't be surprised. Delanoe--and now Sarko--are very serious about putting Paris back in contention with London as Europe's top metropolis, which is a race I think everyone agrees Paris has fallen very far behind in. And as I understand it a lot of big companies are balking at locating in Paris proper (ie, not in La Defense) because it's impossible to find enough contiguous space in those Haussmann blocks...

Then again, getting office space in Zone 1 in London is no picnic.
 

Admiral Beez

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...and, London is a totally incoherent place, visually, compared to Paris. Which is has been for a long time; having never been smashed and rebuilt as an imperial showpiece like Paris
London was most certainly smashed, or to be more accurate, demolished in the The Great Fire of London in September 1666. Estimates say that of the city's then 80,000 citizens, 70,000 were left homeless.

...and London was certainly rebuilt as an imperial showpiece. This was exactly the commission given to Sir Christopher Wren. Mind you, had the bickering been dealt with London could have rivaled Paris, but regardless, London was rebuild after the fire with the grand purpose of Empire.

We must remember that by 1666 London was the capital of a vast empire, stretching from Bombay (1661) and Madras (1640) down to Jamaica (1655), up to Cape Breton (1629) Newfoundland (1497) and all 13 American colonies except NH, SC and NC. The British Empire may be thought of as a Victorian invention, but when London was reborn after the Great Fire of 1666, the empire and its capital were already well founded.

I've always thought that London was a great imperial city.
 

CDL.TO

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Interestingly, Christopher Wren wanted to rebuild London in a form reminiscent of what would happen in Paris 200 years later. Wren envisioned a network of wide boulevards and public piazzas, an urban modernization fitting of the empire. The big thing that prevented it from happening was the issue of land ownership. Landowners still held title and the laws of London respected property rights. So the streets of the city were rebuilt much as they were before the fire.
 

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