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The City Cluster: A result of positive planning and design? Or a vehicle to enrich the powerful?

Part 1 Dissertation 2015
Harry Crosland
London Metropolitan University | UK
I researched the cluster of skyscrapers emerging from the oldest square mile of London. I interviewed Peter Rees, Chief Planning Officer for the City of London (1984–2014), and for a contrasting point of view I asked Rowan Moore for his thoughts.

Through the opinions of Rees and Moore, and other sources, I discuss whether the cluster is a successful planning model for the City. I look at how and why the cluster came about; and whether or not it is commercially necessary – or merely and attempt to enhance the skyline and egos of planners and architects. Considering the antiquated fabric of the City and the strain that is put on its infrastructure through such vast addition of extra office space, would Canary Wharf have been a better location to focus London’s services industry? I also consider whether the cluster is the best typology to support the vernacular of capitalism.

Presuming that clusters are preferable to isolated towers, I assess whether the cluster is in the prime location and consider the viewing corridors which have determine it; and ask if London’s reactive planning culture is more suited to the city compared to pro-active planning cultures found throughout Europe.

Harry Crosland

Joseph Kohlmaier
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