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LONDON-London needs more high rise development if it is to remain a competitive world city according to a new a report, Tall Buildings: Vision of the Future or Victims of the Past, published by the London School of Economics for Development Securities.

The LSE expects a surge in London’s population meaning that it will need to absorb the equivalent of the population of Liverpool in just 15 years. And to provide jobs for all these people will require between five and seven times the amount of office space currently provided by Canary Wharf.

The report argues that to achieve development on this scale, higher density development is needed and that tall buildings offer one solution to achieving this. The report calls for a new generation of tall buildings to be located in inner London near major transport hubs, which would help to spread the load around the congested Tube and commuter networks.

One of the authors, Richard Burdett of the London School of Economics said: “London is an organic city that can adapt to change. It has suffered from a lack of vision and coherence in its policy towards tall buildings in the past and that needs to change. I believe that tall buildings could play a much greater role in London’s future if properly designed and located near major transport hubs, as part of a clear strategy of intensification, especially around large areas of brownfield inner city land.”

The report would appear to be pushing at an open door, because it echoes the conclusions of Mayor Ken Livingstone’s new draft London Plan. However, the proposed expansion of high-rise development is sure to be challenged by conservation groups like English Heritage as the plan goes through its public consultation process.

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