Around London in 80 miles\

Can London’s planned growth be accommodated around a rational and comprehensive development of existing neighbourhoods rather than expanding the boundary outwards?

This question is being considered in a new exhibition ‘London's Towns: Shaping the polycentric city’ at NLA, with a review of outer London areas looking at their capacity and appetite for development and new building.

As part of this examination a group of 8 cyclists - including Peter Murray and myself - set out to circumnavigate London. Our 80 mile route was prepared for NLA by Andy Matthews; Rapha Ambassador and Associate at Pitman Tozer Architects, along similar lines to the Capital Ring Walk. It offered us a chance to explore regeneration across a wide variety of London’s outer towns, neighbourhoods and high streets. After a wet start cycling from Greenwich to Bromley the rest of the route was sunny and dry. Passing by open space, nature reserves and parkland, it was amazing how much green space there was along the route - surely supporting the current proposal of London as a National Park. But we also passed underused and undeveloped areas which would provide appropriate capacity for many of the 50,000 new homes required annually, together with the work space, schools, health centres and cultural spaces that London needs over the next 20 years. The benefit of these existing neighbourhoods is that they are already well served by transport, shops and public space.

The route revealed a host of Hawkins\Brown projects, which serves to illustrate where we have been working for the past 30 years;

1. Eltham Hill School
2. ARK Putney Academy
3. Kingston University Business School
4. Greystar Greenford
5. Grange Farm
6. University of Wesminster Harrow Campus 
7. Mill Hill
8. Woodberry Grove
9. Prowse Court and Lord Graham Mews
10. Stoke Newington Town Hall
11. Tiger Way
12. Hackney Town Hall
13. Bridge House
14. Play and Training Centres in Newham
15. Monier Road
16. Rothbury Road
17. East Village Plot 6
18. Barking Town Hall
19. Dagenham Civic Centre

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