I go up to the Greenwich Peninsula quitefrequently these days, either on my way to the O2, the tube station or just for a walk by the Thames. Over the last eight years, I’ve watched the area slowly evolve. When I first moved down here, it was largely flat and empty, the large white half-bubble of the dome sticking out like a sore thumb. Coming back along the river this afternoon, though, I noticed how much it has changed. These days the area is awash with multi-storey blocks of flats. It is bright and urban. It felt, in fact, like New York.
I haven’t been to the Big Apple in over twenty years, but walking through the Millennium Village this afternoon, something about the tightly clustered high-rise buildings encircled by water made me think of Manhattan. It made me wonder: has that area been turned into London’s answer to New York? With the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf nearby, are the city planners deliberately trying to replicate something resolutely urban, bohemian and middle class on the North Greenwich Peninsula? Are they trying to Manhattanise north Greenwich?