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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Cheap London Housing

During my recent London trip I picked up one of the free London newspapers and found this story tucked away inside.
New London Architecture with the Mayor of London organised a competition to solve London`s housing crisis. Two hundred entries from around the world have now been reduced to a short list of 100. Among these were some water related schemes that attracted my attention.
 Above and below is the entry from Baca architects who worked with Floating Homes. You might remember Baca from the Grand Designs TV programme about the floating house on the River Thames at Marlow.
 The Baca scheme is to place pre-fabricated floating houses along 50 miles of Greater London canals and rivers. Not sure about a permanent home in front of some dilapidated factory or warehouse, perhaps around the Olympic park might be better.

The above pictured scheme came from dRMMwho want to turn the old London docks into housing estates of floating homes called Floatopolis.
Another entry saw 9,000 miles of roads being turned into homes but we will stick to the H2O and pass on to the entry below.

This is an idea from Mae architects who see 4,000 homes along London`s canals. The canal scene will come alive on the link showing the homes in sections being towed into place on barges and erected by floating crane.

All the schemes seem to overlook the access part. Moving in can be achieved by boat, it happens with remote bricks and mortar homes canal side so would be simple with floating homes. Just where do the residents park the car? London and other large cities have enough problem with car parking with some buildings having underground car spaces and still residents have to pay to park outside their own home and even that is not guaranteed.

Perhaps this new housing project can be launched with car ownership banned but free travel within the city area.What about an elevated road above the canal with parking bays and steps down to each floating home.

No, it would be like living in a tunnel. Ok try this. No cars but an electric water bus service picking up at your deck and transporting you to large car parks of 20 floors built below and above ground. Perhaps we can look to the American valet parking where your car would be ready as the water bus docks.

Tesco will have to re think their home delivery service. They could have a superstore of mega proportions with water bus stops, click and collect or their own delivery boats as well as the normal street entrance.  I can see a lot of business opportunity's with this floating home scheme.

We have the water bus and the parking facility but what about rubbish/garbage collection. No roads to drive a vehicle along so it has to be water transport. Miles and miles of floating homes are not going to be connected to sewage mains so again a pump out service is needed. Electricity could be easily fed to each home but bottled gas would have to be used.
Also needed is a general delivery service for just about anything normally delivered kerbside. Canal River Trust will be advertising for tenders/bids to supply these services.

I have given the address problem some thought, well not much actually it seemed pretty obvious to a boater. Bridges along the canal are numbered so if your floating home is between bridge 17 and 18 your home would be numbered in sequence between bridges. Royal Mail would have to issue post/zip codes as they see fit but your address could be; Dock 3, 17-18 Regents Canal, London, RC3 1718.

Ok I`ll stop now but to be honest sitting here writing this the sun is shining warming my face on one side, I have not a care in the world and I am sitting opposite my princess as she works with her students mostly based across the U.S.
Just another fantastic day afloat.

I snapped this scene of boats moored three and four abreast on the Regent`s canal in 2013. Can we expect to see these boats replaced by some of the floating homes pictured above.

All I can say is money talks and if Canal River Trust get the chance then it could happen. I would imagine CRT as land owners would be selling plots on a leasehold basis. What happens when the London area is full?  Will we see the floating homes slowly expanding along the Grand Union towards the Midlands and along every canal it comes in contact with. Certainly opens up a new meaning of the phrase continuous moorer.

Will continuous cruisers like us be just that, continuous. Will the canals be taken over by never ending lines of floating homes. Jaq and I will have to work shifts to keep moving 24/7 all year every year.


Anonymous said...

Architects etc are very blinkered aren't they Les.
No thought given to the practicalities of living in these 'floating homes'.
Do they live in cloud Cuckoo Land?
I had to chuckle to myself reading your response, but, how very true!
narrowboat oakfield xx

Boatwif said...

Just like the western K&A, no longer a navigation now a residency. 300 families living between Bath and Bradford-upon-Avon. Pity that a great proportion of the double and triple breasted boats don't appear to have licences. So C&RT won't make much out of the London proposals.
Please don't give "Boris" any more ideas.
We have reached Weedon Bec and fuelled at Stowe Hill (59.9p/ltr).
Love to Jaq,

Unknown said...

Long term solution: all partners (male/female/LGBT) procreating are allowed ONE offspring, after that, no more off-spring. And if they don't want to reproduce, so much the better. The religious views that massive reproduction is best for planet earth will destroy all of us over time.

Carol said...

Interesting blog Les, love your tongue in cheek thoughts on them! xx

Les Biggs said...

Hi Keith
I doubt very much it will happen but I enjoyed doing the post.

Les Biggs said...

Hi Ken
I bet crt wish they could install floating homes on the K A and get some decent income without the hassle they have in that part of the system.

Les Biggs said...

Hi Bryce
Not sure that would work worlwide but sure it would in some parts. Trouble is it brings us into a world of no choice and freedom. Sorry but can't go along with that too much blood spilt for our freedom.
Anyway hope you are keeping as well as possible. Best wishes Bryce from us both.

Les Biggs said...

Hi Carol
Blogging can be hard and monotonous so given some ammunition I had some fun.

London Accountants Person said...

What an interesting idea, I guess it's good to make the most of the free space, even if it is the water!

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs