The Isle of Dogs

The last of the programmes on Resonance FM about East London is about the Isle of Dogs (https//  beginning with the story of containerisation and poor labour relations which led to the collapse of the old West India Dock;  the anxiety on the part of government ministers, from Peter Walker on, as to what to do about the jobless dockland communities;  Michael Heseltine’s creation of an Enterprise Zone;  the opposition of the local communities to what was happening and their desire for houses rather than tower blocks;  and the arrival of Olympia & York, whose staff had apparently been community activists in Toronto and brought new techniques of faster managed construction.   There is a surprisingly lyrical appreciation of One Canada Square, César Pelli’s tower, which he designed in the shape of Cleopatra’s Needle and insisted on being clad in aluminium to reflect the London sun.


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