To the question "How many low level bridges could we afford for the cost of that pointless, vanity project called The Garden Bridge" the answer is none. An eastern crossing will be longer, bigger, wider, structurally more robust to cope with heavy traffic and must incorporate a mechanism to allow river traffic upstream. So, comparing it with the Garden Bridge project is pointless and distracting. Eastern crossings have great merit but they won't be inexpensive. Nothing of such scale is.
Tower Hamlets would appear to have bigger problems than Quay House and they are systemic. Lack of a coherent policy, no credible CIL, underesourced and under-skilled, the GLA need to accept that TH are fundamentally unable to process these complex applications with any competence. Whilst I don't believe in the GLA taking away the planing brief from TH, they should be sending in mentors & resources to get them back on a solid footing. Currently, there is little confidence in TH as a planing body and that needs to change. Pronto.
Rees is talking complete rubbish: so he thinks that the skyscrapers that have come out of his watch represent best in class does he. The bulbous, car melting 'Walkie Talkie', the unbuildable, unlettable, ridiculously conceited 'Pinnacle' and the 'Cheesegrater'. A chapter of comedic nomenclature.
The one thing the 'distinctive' skyline he leaves behind does have in common is obsolescence. Commercial buildings can be torn down almost at will. Try doing that with a residential building comprising 500 apartments and 500 conflicting interests.
From conception, residential buildings have to be efficient and built to endure: from every viewpoint. They have to be adaptable and easy to maintain. They have to age gracefully and become thoroughly absorbed into their surroundings.
Admittedly, it is an extremely difficult trick to pull off and the additional responsibility on the shoulders of a residential developers does lead to a more conservative design approach. But this should not be castigated by Rees as dumbing down or likened to offensive heaps.
Rees should look more closely at the current crop of calculated City contrivances before he shoots aimlessly from the hip from his own ivory tower