London is running out of places for people to live, so it's turned to floating communities.

"With demand for new homes in London soaring, we need to put every scrap of available land to the best possible use," says Richard Blakeway, the city's deputy mayor for housing, land and property.

The city is developing the area around some former dockyards in East London--including both land and water property.

2014-08-11

Co.Exist

London Is Planning Its First Floating Village To Make Room For More People

As it runs out of land, the city says it needs to put "every scrap" of available property to the best possible use. That now means looking beyond the land.

While low-lying countries like the Netherlands build new floating homes to prepare for rising sea levels, the first floating neighborhood in the U.K. was built for other reasons: The city is running out of places for people to live.

"With demand for new homes in London soaring, we need to put every scrap of available land to the best possible use," says Richard Blakeway, the city's deputy mayor for housing, land and property. In response, the city is developing the area around some former dockyards in East London—including both land and water property.

Experts from the Netherlands are helping to plan the new "floating village," which will include 50 floating homes around a neighborhood square made of water, along with floating restaurants, offices, and shops, and possibly a floating swimming pool. A floating walkway will lead back to land, where the city plans a much larger development with tens of thousands of new homes.

Earlier in its history, the area, known as the Royal Docks, served hundreds of cargo and passenger ships each day. The three docks were the largest enclosed docks in the world—the area of the water alone is 250 acres, and the land is more than 1,000 acres—and they got more use than any other port in London. But they haven't been in use for the last several decades, and that's why the city wants to transform the area.

"Tens of thousands of new homes, workspace, leisure, and cultural facilities are being developed . . . The ‘Floating Village’ will be yet another draw, restoring London’s docklands to their former glory as a centre of enterprise and bringing jobs, growth, homes and visitors," says Blakeway.

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6 Comments

  • fast

    In fact there have been floating homes in London for many years. Both on canals and on the river. They can even be rented by the day.

  • London is running out of places?

    There are a vast number of empty houses in London. Millions of empty homes across Britain and at least 11 million empty homes across Europe.

    So no; let's stop lying about that shall we?

    There is no housing crisis.

    The crisis is richer folks holding on to empty homes and land that could be used so they can push up the prices of property and increase rent.

    If land or a home us unused for over a year it should be seized with NO compensation to the owner and then given to people on a waiting list for housing.

    If the property is left unused for more than half a year then the tax on it should be doubled as an incentive to sell.

  • fast

    Do you have a car or bicycle you don't use now? Or maybe your child has outgrown some clothes? Or maybe some books you have read and DVDs you have watched.

    Well I think they should be taken from you without compensation too.

    After all, there are people who don't have these things so if you aren't using them you should not be allowed to have them.

  • This development has nothing to do with addressing housing shortages. It is much more about revitalizing the docklands area and making it more compelling for tourists. It has already been well documented online that this is a luxury development, something the Mayor of the Borough of Newham (where this is located) has vocally criticized. It's also just 50 homes. London needs around 50,000 new homes a year, so this is not solving anything. Just around the corner from here is the largest residential development in London. And surrounding this area is underdeveloped land, of which there is no shortage in London. Any article that suggests London is running out of land to develop is plain wrong.

  • steve_e_2k7

    I can only imagine the astronomical price these 50 premium floating houses will be.

    Do they actually think they are making positive change towards the housing crisis?