Skip to main content

The politics of design: architecture, tall buildings and the skyline of central London

Buy Article:

$43.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

After 2000 a handful of very tall buildings were approved in central London, a circumstance that challenged well-established planning practices in that part of the city. Their promotion by Ken Livingstone, the mayor, but opposition to them by conservation groups, seemed to signal a fierce campaign ahead; in fact, it was all over in an instant. This article examines how this debate was framed to dismiss the arguments and concerns of those who oppose tall buildings. To make tall buildings acceptable, London's mayor drew on the merits associated with iconic architecture and high-profile architects. Under Livingstone's incumbency tall buildings were affirmed by the expertise and clout of global architects who provided legitimacy for mayoral ambitions to reach for the sky. Stressing the significance of high-quality design and iconic architecture helped to wear down deep-rooted antagonism and to channel the debate to improving the aesthetic qualities of London, a goal that enjoys wide consensus.
No References
No Citations
No Supplementary Data
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: London; global architects; iconic architecture; skyline; tall buildings; urban design

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Haifa, Mount Carmel, Haifa 31905, Israel, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2007-06-01

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more