Is the Millennium London Eye a Good Thing or a Bad Thing?

Following in the footsteps of Britain’s most quoted historians (W. C. Sellar and R. J. Yeatman) we should ask: is the London Eye is a Good Thing or a Bad Thing? 30m people have ridden in the Eye (@ £17.5 each =£525m) and the owners pay the South Bank Centre £2.5m/year to rent a tiny […]

London's Royal Parks Greenway should have the Lost Garden of Whitehall as a link to the South Bank's Thames Greenway

London has two excellent greenways: one of them was planned by Henry VIII and runs through the Royal Parks. The other was planned by a landscape architect (Sir Patrick Abercrombie) and runs on the South Bank of the River Thames from Westminster Bridge to Tower Bridge. The video explains the histories of the routes and […]

London's skyline: landscape and high buildings policy – and my apology for postmodern urban design

The words and image (from City as landscape p. 6) were published in 1996. Sadly, I forgot that most designers look at books only for their pictures. Nor did I imagine that London’s designers would see my cartoon as the latest hot trend in urban design. Tragically, as you can see from the 2013 photograph […]

Socrates, chives, tomatoes and biodiversity on my London roof garden

Socrates looks pleased to see that my chives are doing well but misty-eye puzzled that I have let weeds grow when the space could perfectly well be used to grow tomatoes. I tell him that while my wife grows the excellent tomatoes I am contributing to London’s 2010 Sustainable Green Roof Biodiversity Action Programme. See […]

Comment on the landscape aspects of the Mayor’s London Plan 2009

          You can download the .pdf and comment the draft of Mayor Boris Johnson’s London Plan 2009.  The most interesting chapters, for me, are Chapter 6 on Transport and  Chapter 7 on London’s Living Spaces and Places. The Gardenvisit website has a historical analysis of previous Open Space Plans for London […]

Eyesorit: I love lawns

My definition of an eyesorit is  ‘an urban design which makes the eyes sore but tinged with mirth’, rather as Private Eye Magazine does with its brilliant covers. Normally, they are photographs with bubble captions. The architect, the town planner, the highway engineer and the landscape architect responsible for this codge-up, photographed in London’s Isle […]

Towards a Greener London

As the author of a an old report on Towards a green strategy for London, I should be pleased to see a sudden and dramatic green turn on London’s South Bank. And I am. Green is a good outdoor colour, kind to the eye and calming for the nerves. But I would also like the […]

The Shard architecture and skyline landscape symbolic reviews

If you build a skyscaper in London you can expect a shovel of reviews. Here is a selection of opinions about the symbolic impact of Renzo Piano’s Shard on London’s landscape. Tom Turner: If The Shard had a Christian cross on top most of the critics would change their minds Nathan Hurst: The Shard is […]

9/11 Memorial Landscape Architecture

The 9/11 Memorial to the victims of the World Trade Center attack opens today, 11th September 2011. The memorial was conceived by the 42-year-old Israeli-born architect Michael Arad, with help from co-architect, Gary Handel, and landscape architect Peter Walker. The first pool opens on the 10th anniversary of the attack. When completed, it will be […]

Could Hemel Hempsted's Jellicoe Water Gardens be managed by volunteers?

We observed that Hemel Hempstead Water Gardens are a National Disgrace and that Hemel Hempstead Water Gardens are getting worse and worse and worse. This led to a number of people making contact to say ‘If someone started a Friends of the Water Gardens organisation then I would help’. This, I believe, is the best […]

Context sensitive landscape and garden design in Japan, by Haruko Seki/Studio Lasso Ltd

Japan was the first Asian country to modernise its industry but always wanted to retain its unique identity. This turned out to be more difficult for buildings than for gardens. Haruko Seki is a Japanese landscape architect based in London. Perhaps for this reason, she has a keen eye for something essentially Japanese which is […]