Did you know that 80% of the UK population now live in towns, cities and urban areas? Our capital is growing to meet the increasing demand. According to SERGO’s Alan Holland, the next 15 years will see London’s population grow by the equivalent of Leeds and Birmingham combined, with half this growth forecast to happen in the five East London boroughs of Newham, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Barking & Dagenham and Havering & Redbridge.
East London recently saw substantial redevelopment surrounding the 2012 Olympics and a great deal more is on the horizon as the area moves further away from it’s industrial past, becoming younger, denser and more diverse. With hundreds of thousands of new homes and jobs planned to meet the growing population, we look at some of the biggest and boldest plans for the future of East London.
1 – Boris’ City in the East
Boris has big plans. Recent research by the Mayor’s office suggests over 203,500 homes and 283,300 jobs could be created in East London over the next 20 years. It’s a big step up from the previously predicted capacity of 52,000 new homes.
Drawing together major developments already in progress on sites singled out for their capacity for new housing, business space and other developments, the Mayor of London’s “City in the East” plan stretches from from London Bridge to the Isle of Dogs and Greenwich Peninsula, through to Ilford in Essex and Dartford in Kent.
“This blueprint reflects identified areas of land in London to build on and it will allow us to coordinate not only housing and commercial developments, but significant transport infrastructure,” Johnson said.
The plans include an overground extension to Barking Riverside, enabling the creation of 10,000 new homes, which could be operational by 2020. This also creates potential to place the A13 in a tunnel, deliver a new station and build new homes in the area.
You can see how many houses are planned in each area over on City AM
2 – Olympics legacy
The Olympics brought more than £9bn of investment to east London, much of which went into transport, making Stratford second only to King’s Cross as the most connected part of London.
After successfully hosting the games, the Queen Elizabeth site is now being put to use in other ways. Materials from the beach volleyball courts on Horse Guards Parade are being put towards a new skate park and community centre in Hackney Wick/Fish Island and growing from the Olympic site are five new publicly named neighbourhoods, which over the next 20 years will accommodate up to 8,000 new homes, supported by a network of new schools, nurseries, health centres and community spaces, sitting alongside the sporting venues and 6.5 km of waterways and open spaces. Up to 35% of them will be affordable housing, in-line with the Mayor’s London Plan.
Boris also has plans to make the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London an ‘internationally significant’ arts destination. The Olympicopolis arts hub has attracted £45m of private investment and could see outposts of the V&A, Sadler’s Wells and the Smithsonian take up residence on the 2012 Olympic site in east London. The project has been inspired by the grand museums on South Kensington’s Exhibition Road and the Southbank Centre complex, both born out of major national events: the 1851 Great Exhibition and the 1951 Festival of Britain.
3 – World-class infrastructure
Thanks in part to the Olympics the East End now has transport links which are amongst the best in the capital. Stratford is just minutes to Canary Wharf, the City and the West End – and has swift, modern connections to Europe, via the high speed train line to Brussels and Paris, and London City Airport. In 2017, Crossrail will further improve links across London.
TfL’s ‘Business Plan’ will deliver significant transport benefits to growing areas, as well as supporting London’s growth more widely through Tube upgrades and further enhancements to London Overground.
Public transport isn’t the only method of transport receiving improvements. Since 2001, the number of cycling journeys on the Capital’s main roads has almost tripled. Every day more than 580,000 cycle trips are made – more journeys than currently on the DLR. It is expected that by 2020 more than one million journeys a day will be made by bike, well above today’s ridership on any Tube line.
The Cycle Superhighways – a network of radial routes into central London from all around the city – will be expanded. There will be improvements to cycle links in the east-west direction. The future of Cycle Superhighways, Better Junctions, Quietways, and greenways continue to be developed to meet the Mayor’s ‘Vision for Cycling’.
As well as an increase in ways to get around, efficiency is also on the agenda. The energy efficient street lighting programme on the TfL Road Network introduces LED lighting and a central management system (CMS) to control lighting levels according to time, location and traffic flow. As well as offering considerable energy efficiencies, more than 50 per cent in some cases, LEDs provide better lighting control which reduces light pollution.
See TFL’s 2014 East London transport update for more facts and figures on the future of East London’s infrastructure.
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