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The Weekly Wrap

Windy City!

Due to worries that wind tunnels could produce enough force to knock over cyclists and pedestrians, the City of London has drawn up stricter guidelines for constructing skyscrapers.

The UK's first wind microclimate guidelines were released by the governing body of the Square Mile on Tuesday in order to put cyclists and pedestrians safety first.

Using comprehensive scale models in wind tunnels and computer simulations, developers will need to provide a more robust evaluation of how suggested structures will impact individuals on road level.

The City will also reduce the level of wind conditions considered tolerable under the new rules.

Average speeds of more than 18mph will be reclassified as “uncomfortable” rather than “business walking conditions”.

In recent years, several skyscrapers have been built across London’s skyline, including the Leadenhall Building, known as “The Cheesegrater” and the “Walkie-Talkie” at 20 Fenchurch Street – both in the Square Mile. 

Another 13 skyscrapers are scheduled for 2026, with six already being built and seven receiving planning permission from the City of London.

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Lunchtime Streets taking over the City

The City of London “Corporation” has started a new scheme called “Lunchtime Streets”. This is a creative way in which it allows workers to enjoy traffic free zones throughout the City, so the public can enjoy their lunch in a safer more pleasant environment. “Lunchtime Streets” will also be an opportunity to reimagine how street space might be used in the future.

This will be happening in certain parts of the City including the Eastern tower cluster, with buildings such as Cheesegrater, Lloyds of London, Gherkin, Aviva Tower and many more. The area provided a car free zone, with no traffic aloud to pass through leaving people to enjoy food, music and all different activities during their breaks. During this four day event 273 people shared their views on this and in an article from “Lunchtime Streets” themselves they were said to be “overwhelmed” with the response they received from the public.

The results showed 95% support for the trial and making streets such as, St Mary Axe traffic free at lunchtime and 88% said they support or strongly support the diversion of daytime traffic from St Mary Axe to make space for street activities on a permanent basis.

Due to the success of the previous event they are also testing this out in Chancery Lane on 3rd to the 5th September, the “Chancery Lane Association” have decided to assist in this scheme and involve many of the sites around this area to join in and promote this space. 

It is encouraging to know that the City of London seem to want to make the City a healthier place to work and commute to. With less cars on the street to even help pollution in the City as that is one of the key factors we are experiencing in this current time. We are trying to encourage more spaces in the City that the public can enjoy and make the streets safer for the public. 

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The City of London extracts wealth from the remainder of the UK's areas.

TWO UK finance specialists used the example of a Scottish PFI project to demonstrate how, contrary to common wisdom, the economic industry, which is focused in the City of London, extracts wealth from other UK areas.

The analysis originated in a House of Commons investigation into regional inequality, the most serious of any Western European nation.

London and the South East have a considerably greater GDP than other regions of the United Kingdom and a significantly greater tax contribution, leading many politicians and commentators to argue that the remainder of the United Kingdom benefits from the redistribution of the wealth creation of the City of London.

Labor's Glasgow North-East MP Paul Sweeney stated in May on Novara Media, criticising Scottish independence's economics, that: “London essentially generates the wealth, and it is re-distributed to other regions of the UK”.

Chris Giles of the FT wrote in 2017 that “if London was a nation state, it would have a budget surplus of 7 per cent of gross domestic product, better than Norway. . . . the idea that London sucks the life out of other parts of Britain is absurd.”

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GPE signs PensionBee for City offices

PensionBee has been signed by Great Portland Estates at its development on 55 Basinghall Street.

The move took place on July 30 and saw PensionBee moving to City Place House, 55 Basinghall Street, an internet pension provider established in 2015.

The agreement will see the 65-strong team occupying 5,000 sq ft and moving from 50 Southwark Street offices where it occupied 1,784 sq ft.

PensionBee said it aims to continue its growth path and invest in its model of customer service as it increases its assets under administration, which in July 2019 exceeded £500m.

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