Magazine article American Banker

Tradition and Tight Space

Magazine article American Banker

Tradition and Tight Space

Article excerpt

Tradition and Tight Space

AS ONE FAMOUS Roman noted, the City of London is "famed for commerce and thronged with traders.'

The words of Tacitus, spoken or at least chiseled almost 2,000 years ago, have not been lost on the Corporation of London, the administrator of this square-mile city that serves as the center of British commerce--almost like a financial bellybutton in the expansive stomach of Greater London.

The corporation in fact was so taken by the notion of Tacitus' throngs that it referred to them at the beginning of its recently issued local plan for the City, a plan designed to guide the development of the "square mile' well into the next century.

The 226-page report is being presented at a crucial time in the City's development. The deregulation of London's financial markets has created a tremendous surge in demand for modern, large-unit office space in a market that was already painfully short on space well before the first reports of the Big Bang. Added to the influx of demand from the financial community is the problem that commerce isn't the only business of the City.

The square mile also serves as a home to about 6,000 residents, who absorb about 6% of all of the available floorspace. To this add the demands of developing public utilities and social services, transportation, recreation and leisure, and environmental quality.

The City also drips with history, architectural grandeur, and potential and ongoing archaeological undertakings that the tradition-loving Britons are unlikely to sacrifice, even for the prospect of developing lucrative high-rise office buildings.

"You're just not going to want to put up a 20-story office building that is going to block the view of St. Paul's,' one planner commented.

The task of reconciling these often competing aims is daunting, and contentious. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.