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The Towers of London

The news that London is set to be hit with 230 new towers has been making the headlines recently, but tall buildings are nothing new to the capital. We’re taking a look at some of the city’s tallest towers from throughout the ages, comparing structures from 1100 all the way to the present day. You can check out some of the city’s most modern additions on our Modern Architecture walking tour.

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London The Information Capital: Infographics that will change the way you view the city

London infographic book

London is the most data-heavy capital of the world. Well, that’s according to James Cheshire and Oliver Uberti the authors of this new book, London: The Information Capital. And, given that we spend most our days trying to keep up with London’s dizzying range of facts and figures, we can well believe that. 

This new book presents 100 maps and infographics that tell us more about London – everything from who we go to where we go and what we like. Take a look at these three sample graphics from the book to get a flavour of what’s in store: just click on each image to see a larger version.

London commuter infographic

*Click on the image to see a larger version*

“There is order and beauty in the chaos of your commute.” Although, that might seem debatable, there’s no denying there’s something very pleasing about the lines of colour shown in the infographic above: in fact, it shows London’s most exited stations each morning by the origin location. And that’s not all the transport facts you can pick up in the book: we’ve also learnt that the trains of the London Underground network log more than 75 million kilometres a year – that’s like circling the Earth at the Equator 1,900 times. In addition, in 2013, Londoners took 2.4 billion bus journeys.

They Came, They Saw, They Spent p218-219 copy.min

*Click on the image to see a larger version*

“They Came, They Saw, They Spent” illustrates the overseas visitors to the UK in 2012. You can see how visitors from the United States dominate the stats. Interestingly, it also shows how much each visitor spends, and while the average American spends £800 on a trip to London; the average Saudi will spend over triple that. While that figure no doubt includes a fair few souvenirs, spare a thought of what’s left behind: 2,580 mobile phones, 100 walking sticks and 2,380 pairs of glasses were left at Heathrow Airport in 2013.

*Click on the image to see a larger version*

Finally, can you guess what the light areas in this map show? It’s actually the most photographed areas of the city, according to Flickr at least. Perhaps no surprises that Trafalgar Square, Westminster and Buckingham Palace are well lit up, but it’s interesting to see how well recorded our green spaces are too.

Pick up a copy of London: The Information Capital for more fascinating facts and stats. And why not come and join us on one of our walking tours and add a few stats of your own. We cover everything from the Underground to Cutting-Edge green.

London: The Information Capital by James Cheshire and Oliver Uberti was published by Particular Books on 30 October, £25.

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2014 in Buildings

The expansion of the London skyline has sparked serious debate, weighing up the value of the city’s heritage and classic scenery with the importance of development and moving with the times. With news that more than 230 towers are soon to hit the capital, scrutiny over new buildings has never been more intense – but not all the structures springing up will be scraping the skies. We’ve taken a look at two very different buildings that are new for 2014: the loud and proud Leadenhall Building, and the quietly revolutionary refurbishment on Barnes Avenue.

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