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London: Hub City, United Kingdom 
Friday 25 Jan 2013
 
London: Hub City 
 
Images: Grimshaw 
 
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Editorial

Grimshaw releases proposal for UK travel 


Global design giants Grimshaw have released a strategic plan for the future of the UK’s infrastructure system. Entitled London: Hub City the proposal looks beyond the redevelopment of an existing airport or construction of a new complex. “It builds on Britain’s pedigree of finding ingenious solutions that are pragmatic, creative and efficient, forming the basis for inherently sustainable infrastructure. It is intended to stimulate debate and act as a catalyst for more detailed investigation, towards a specific outcome: the best future for London and the UK.”

London: Hub City is being headed by CEO of Grimshaw Jolyon Brewis who will be joining WAN’s panel debate on aviation on 5 February at the London Geographical Society. Rather than release a series of renderings of shiny new airport plans, Grimshaw has presented a more strategic plan which looks to redefine how London is perceived by international travellers.

In his presentation Brewis weighs up the pros and cons of the Hub Airport (Figure 1) and the Hub City (Figure 2), leaning towards the latter which would enable capacity to be vastly increased as it is spread between several airport complexes. He explains: “A Hub City is sufficiently attractive to persuade a significant portion of transferring passengers to extend their lay-over, leave the airport and spend time in the city… The focus would be on allowing passengers to reach the city centre less than 30 minutes after leaving the aircraft, meaning that passengers can choose a meaningful connect time that includes a number of hours spent in the city.”

The argument given for Grimshaw’s proposal is as follows:

• London is geographically well placed in terms of aviation hubs, commercially vital and culturally vibrant
• More than 30% of international passengers transferring through Heathrow currently leave the airport and spend over £500 per head in central London. Enhancing connections could increase this figure
• A smart-card (similar to the current Oyster card system) could be introduced which could access all of London’s public transport
• With physical improvements and dispersal of current traffic, current transfer times could be reduced
• Heathrow may be retained as ‘the principal short connect hub airport’ with unrivalled access through central London and easy access to other airports or a new East London Airport

Key Facts

Status Concept design
Value 0(m€)
Grimshaw
www.grimshaw-architects.com

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