My abiding memory of the Isle of Dogs is of a wasteland and a single LDDC (London Docklands Development Corporation) low rise office building which I spotted as I jogged through the area in 1986 and 1989 when completing my first two London marathons. That building (cream bricks and blue aluminium windows) is probably long gone as are my marathon running days.
Therefore, the article by Jane Martinson about the 'ups and downs' of the Isle of Dogs over the past 30 years caught my eye. So too did her comments on the apparent divide between the undoubted successful physical and financial regeneration of the area and the feeling of 'exclusion' by some of the local inhabitants. I have read and heard similar comments said about other urban regeneration projects in other cities. Therefore one challenge for future regeneration projects must be seeking ways in which to bridge this divide (imagined or real).
From a construction lawyer's standpoint the redevelopment of Canary Wharf has been amazing project to witness and, on occasions, to get involved in. As Jane Martinson's article says, the project is ongoing so perhaps I should have one final jog round the area to celebrate 30 years since my first marathon running days.
Canary Wharf provides as many jobs as the docks did when they acted as a linchpin between the City of London and the global trade of the British empire. Canary Wharf’s first building, the second tallest in the UK after the Shard, is now as much a part of London’s skyline as the Empire State in New York and the area, with a further massive expansion already under way, is now more Wall Street than wasteland.