Londoners Say Taller Buildings Won’t Solve Their Housing Crisis

A new survey found that many residents of the capital aren't ready to abandon their terraced houses. 

Skyscrapers in the Canary Wharf business district of London (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

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More than 400 skyscrapers are slated for across London, but nearly half of inner London residents surveyed think this number is too high.

A 500-person poll released by UK research company Ipsos MORI Sunday found that 49 percent of inner London residents think too many skyscrapers are planned for the city, and 59 percent want to see height restrictions for skyscrapers. Only 6 percent of residents said there are too few buildings over 20 stories planned for the city.

Although London is still facing a housing shortage, few Londoners — only 11 percent — said they think going tall will help alleviate the crisis, and 60 percent say they believe skyscrapers mostly benefit wealthy foreigners. However, 59 percent of those surveyed say priority should be given to proposals that include affordable housing.

Londoners also want more say in new construction. Three quarters of residents surveyed say they should be consulted on proposals for new buildings, and more than half think tall buildings should be limited to business districts, such as Canary Warf.

Inner Londoners say other types of housing better suit the needs of Londoners, with 24 percent preferring terraced houses, 21 percent buildings five stories or less, and 17 percent buildings that are 6-20 stories tall.

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Kelsey E. Thomas is a writer and editor based in the most upper-left corner of the country. She writes about urban policy, equitable development and the outdoors (but also about nearly everything else) with a focus on solutions-oriented journalism. She is a former associate editor and current contributing editor at Next City.

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Tags: affordable housinglondonskyscrapers

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