Deserted, City of London will convert offices into housing

By with AFP

Due to the rise of telecommunications during the health crisis, the city’s London business district wants to convert vacant offices to build 1,500 new homes by 2030.

The measure is part of a larger action plan unveiled in a press release and which should be allowed to adapt the famous city of London to the new post-pandemic economic and social situation.

Once the symbol of a bustling district and powerful financial sector, it has largely been emptied of its workers and they are only returning very slowly, raising fears of long-term effects on its attractions.

Its action plan, published with the help of firm Oliver Wyman, plans to work closely with real estate developers to build new buildings with a low carbon footprint, or renovate others. The purpose, in addition to building housing, would be to offer welcome areas for commerce, culture or youth businesses.

“Hopefully is on the horizon as our economy starts to reopen and brings some semblance of normality to city life,” said William Russell, Lord Mayor of the City.

Give life in the neighborhood

The city, which has few residents, intends to find means to give life to the district during weekends and evenings. For example, on summer days it may decide to ban the entry of vehicles on Saturdays and Sundays or to start cultural programs at night. In the end, it would be a question of encouraging the population to walk there, cycle there and spend more time there.

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“Businessmen told us they wanted to live in central London, but the way they work would change to reflect an epidemic trend like flexible work,” said the city’s chief policy officer, Catherine McGinness.

“Respect for inclusiveness, innovation and the environment should be at the heart of the city of the future. We are confident that Square Mile (another name for the district, which looks like a square a mile long, editor’s note) will regain its buzz and vitality ”.

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