Nine Elms: How the Chinese redefined development in London

Thames City site view

Source: Hufton + Crow

The past decade has seen the riverside area around Vauxhall transformed with Chinese developers cutting their teeth on three major schemes. Thomas Lane visited the project

In the space of little more than 10 years, Nine Elms on the south bank of the Thames in London, has been transformed from a forgotten backwater of low-rise industrial sheds to a land of skyscrapers that would look more at home in Shanghai or Dubai. Officially known as Vauxhall Nine Elms Battersea (VNEB), this development zone also includes Battersea Power Station to the north-west of Nine Elms. 

In his London Plan of 2008, former mayor Ken Livingstone envisaged 3,500 homes on the site, a number that increased dramatically under Boris Johnson to 20,000 during his tenure at City Hall. This explains the dense, high-rise nature of the scheme.

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