By Brian C. Edwards
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Additional resources for London Docklands. Urban Design in an Age of Deregulation
What the corporation did not do (and could not under the Act) was to become a major developer itself. Georgian London grew upon the example of excellence established by squares built by the land owning aristocracy, these both providing an incentive to construct houses in the adjoining streets and establishing a design standard for others to follow. However, the atten tion shown by the LDDC to the details and quality of building materials goes some way to mitigate the reluctance to engage upon urban design structur ing (at least on the Isle of Dogs) and carry out commercial building itself.
Once the resignalling, track realignment and upgrad ing of stations are complete, the DLR will be amongst the world's most advanced urban transit systems. From a design point of view there are, however, two major shortcomings. First, the connections are poor between the existing rail, bus and underground systems and the DLR. At Tower Gateway station one has a tortuous path to thread from the Tower under ground station on the District and Central Lines and at Stratford an equally uncomfortable passage through tunnels.
The old world of modernist functional theory has cracked to let in the light of design voyeurs who have made quite a mark in various corners of Docklands. If design has aided the regeneration of Docklands, it has not greatly benefited ordinary people. The housing is generally beyond the reach of the indigenous population, and the jobs within the offices are inaccessible through want of skills. Design has therefore only indirectly helped local people, and here mostly through enhancing their own property values.