It was, in my opinion, a lot of smoke with very little fire. Despite the claims of massive community involvement, I find the participation numbers questionable. All that aside, what I find most interesting is that the future as envisioned by ReThink is not the future in many places but is simply reality today.
|This is a great improvement on the big-box shopping mall.|
The development, a traditional retail and residential blend, even has a movie theatre as part of the mix.
|In compact developments, stores front onto streets rather than parking lots.|
ReThink London promised an end to urban sprawl but unfortunately the ReThink ideas are little more than a gleam in our city planners' eyes.
|Lots of parking with a wall separating much of the residential from the commercial.|
More than a decade ago, journalist Christine Dirks told readers of The London Free Press about a new urbanist dream development planned for the southwest of London. It would be a first for the city. Talbot Village was the name of the new suburban community. Today the development is nearing completion and the only part of the dream that survived is the name: Talbot Village.
ReThink London. Humbug.
Addendum: And yes, I know the new city plan was not in place when much of Talbot Village was being built. But, mixed use communities are being built not because developers are being forced to build them but because mix use creates sensible developments and profitable ones as well.