Crossrail Regional Route map, (credit Crossrail Ltd.)

Crossrail Regional Route map, (credit Crossrail Ltd.)

Finally, decades after Paris began its RER system, London  is building its first Crossrail, which is west-east and due to open in 2019. Like Paris’s RER it is being built to continental GB loading gauge and it eventually could take double deck trains.

It will transform cross-London communications: in London Whitechapel, Woolwich, West Drayton, Ealing Broadway and West Ealing will boom. As will Slough and Maidenhead on the west section.

Journey times will be Woolwich to Heathrow Terminal 4 in 56 minutes, Woolwich to Tottenham Court Road in 19 minutes. It will add 10% to London’s total rail capacity. It is Europe’s largest contraction project in 2015.

So what are landscape architects doing? Gillespies designed the Canary Wharf Roof Garden, Hyder’s landscape architects are working on Whitechapel Station, BDP are working on Ilford, and Maryland stations and surrounds. In total there will be 24 new station forecourts, 12 improved forecourts, 1,335 new cycle parking places, 328 new trees and 20 new pedestrian crossings. Designs for many areas include wider pavements, new pedestrian areas (including pedestrian prioritisation), paving, signage and road alterations to slow and reduce road traffic, improving safety.

However, the overall regeneration effects will be far beyond just that.


Re loading gauge: Letter 28 July 2010 Department of Transport to Peter Storey

Effect of Crossrail on home prices and potential regeneration

Journey times calculator




Robert Holden is a London-based landscape architect who read architecture & landscape architecture at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. On graduating he worked for the Dutch Staatsbosbeheer (State Forestry Service) on a visual survey of Oostelijk Flevoland and for Allain Provost in Paris on recreation planning of the French coastline east of Dunkerque. In London he has worked for Derek Lovejoys (1971-75) and Clouston (1976-89) including extensive work in the Middle East. • In the 1980s he was particularly known for his work on business park masterplanning such as Aztec West near Bristol, Capability Green Luton and Colchester Business Park. He was a Clouston director responsible for bureau d’étude work at EuroDisneyland in 1988-9; • since the 1990s he has been involved in smaller practices (including Clifton Design 1990-91 and Holden Liversedge 1991-99), and Cracknell Ferns (1999-2009). • projects have included work in France, Germany, Kuwait, Libya, The Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Spain, UAE, and Russia as well as the UK. • he was lecturer, latterly Head of Landscape & postgraduate landscape architecture programme leader at the University of Greenwich, 1992-2013. • Currently he serves on the Landscape Institute Council having previously served 1983-86; he was Education Vice President of the European Foundation for Landscape Architecture (2001-4) & from 2005-2008 was EFLA Secretary General. EFLA is now IFLA Europe. • From Feb.-June 2014 he undertook a Tübitak (Turkish Science Research Council) scholarship, at Istanbul Technical University, looking as sustainability & public domain in Istanbul. In 2015 he taught at Corvinus University on their MLA. Interests include sustainability & landscape architecture, post industrial landscapes, landscape construction, the European landscape profession, and aspects of C18th landscape gardening, especially the ferme ornée. HIs latest book (joint with Jamie Liversedge) is "Landscape Architecture as a Career": Laurence King (Feb. 2014) in English and Spanish.

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