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London Mayor Envisions Model "Eco City" in Thames Gateway

London Mayor Ken Livingstone announced in April that he would like to have a 1,000-home “eco city” built in the London borough of Newham.

Livingstone made the announcement while in China reviewing plans for Dongtan [RECORD, March 2006, page 46], a city which will be powered by renewable energy. Located on the island of Chongming at the mouth of China’s Yangtse River and designed by Arup, Dongtan is being planned as a self-sufficient community for 500,000 people. Its first phase for 80,000 residents will be complete by 2020.

Greenpeace originally proposed the London plan and the London Development Agency (LDA), also working with Arup. The LDA already owns land in Newham, but the exact location of the proposed development has not been determined. Like Dongtan, the London development would likely be powered entirely by renewable sources such as wind turbines and photovoltaic cells. Livingstone said in a statement, “London’s zero-emissions development will demonstrate that it is affordable and achievable to make all major new developments low-carbon.” He hopes to break ground within a year. According to Peter Head, a director of Arup who is also leading the planning for Dongtan, the London development could be realized by 2010. 

John E. Czarnecki, Assoc. AIA