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IKEA To Build An Entire Neighborhood In London



Swedish home furniture giant IKEA is taking a bold step toward urban planning, by acquiring 11 hectares of land in East London to build its very own neighborhood.

The Strand East, as it is called, will feature 1,200 rental homes—all of which will be priced to appeal to a range of incomes.

The development will also boast 480,000 square-feet of commercial office space, a "hub area" with shared space for the community, a creative zone intended for creative-minded businesses to take root, a restaurant, a hotel, pedestrian walkways, cycle routes, and a new bus route.

The ‘IKEA Land’ will also be free of vehicle traffic, except for buses and ambulances (during emergencies). Upon entering the neighborhood, drivers will be directed straight to an underground garage.

Trash will be removed from the homes by a series of underground suction tunnels, and a hydroelectric plant will provide power to the neighborhood.

“We have a very good understanding of rubbish collection, of cleanliness, of landscape management,” says project manager Anthony Cobden.

Cobden adds that they further plan to “create a sense of place” that will be shaped rather than forced through promotion of community events, farmers’ markets and outdoor flower shops.

“We would have a fairly firm line on undesirable activity, whatever that may be,” says Cobden. “But we also feel we can say, okay, because we’ve kept control of the management of the commercial facilities, we have a fairly strong hand in what is said in terms of the activities that are held on site.”

With construction set to begin in 2013, seems like IKEA is well on its way to build its version of a utopian neighborhood.






[via The Globe and Mail]
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