Founder of Archiboo, Amanda Baillieu, adds commentary on the video of the talk “Redeveloping the TfL Estate” by Graeme Craig and Gareth Powell.
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Think of TfL this summer and the first image that comes to mind is striking tube workers.
But the body responsible for most aspects of the transport system in Greater London is also one of the capital’s largest landowners with 5,700 acres on its books including prime sites in central London.
While TfL has shortlisted 75 sites that it wants to redevelop as joint ventures over the next decade it owns many more, from car parks to disused stations.
Until very recently TfL had no plans to develop any of it. Sites either lay derelict or, like Camden Town and South Kensington, have remained virtually unchanged since they were built over 150 years ago.
In a fascinating talk for Archiboo during the London Festival of Architecture, TfL’s Graeme Craig and Gaerth Powell explained why property development is an obvious move for the organization that will be spending £10 billion on the tube network over the next decade.
“Just because we’re a transport organisation doesn’t mean we’re necessarily bad at everything else. It’s possible for us to be a transport organisation and a commercial organisation” said Craig, responsible for commercialising TfL’s assets.
And the network is getting busier and more crowded. First, there’s the sheer volume of people pouring into the capital to live and work, but it’s also the result of people’s different work patterns – the reason why all-night trains are being introduced – and the leisure economy, meaning the underground is permanently in use.
By developing its landholdings TfL say it can plough around £3.2 billion back into the network, but asked if the temptation won’t be to simply extract the maximum profit for each site, Craig stressed that it’s motivation is also to build mixed communities and affordable housing.
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