The Stratford masterplan is one of the largest urban regeneration projects the world has ever seen. It has been envisioned and designed as a way to revitalise a brownfield site and transform it into something innovative, sustainable and built for the challenges of modern urban life. The project has been in the planning stages since before 1998 and has a total budget of £4bn. Over the past two decades, the plan has slowly come to fruition but developments are still ongoing.

This plan takes the concept of scenario architecture to a larger scale, created with the concepts of town planning but unlike the Garden Cities that were often built around symmetries, Stratford has been created with how people interact within an area surrounded by the constraints of the built environment in place.

Various projects and areas are included in the Masterplan, many of which are discussed below.

1/ Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
2/ East Village
3/ Westfield Stratford City
4/ The International Quarter
5/ East Bank

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Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is at the heart of the Masterplan for Stratford. Built on the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the park is being used to drive innovation and ensure further growth in surrounding areas to help the local communities. The plan is to continue to develop the park and ensure it maintains the legacy of the games while building sustainable living areas in a fully inclusive community. The Park has not just been designed and developed as a place for people to visit but a hub for commercial and residential purposes as well.

This park is the largest to have been built in Europe in 150 years. It provides space for sporting venues as well as nature trails and has over 35km of paths.

Image Courtesy of East Village

East Village

Through the Olympics, 17,000 athletes lived in the area. Today, it has been transformed with nearly 3000 homes built. 2000 more have already been planned and while half are rented privately by getting Living London, the rest are managed under Triathlon Homes. They provide a range of different options including social rent, intermediate rent, and shared ownership.

The main emphasis for the east village is a place of active living with a continued focus on sustainability. The Village is adjacent to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, providing a key space for residents to enjoy. Over 6000 people now live in East Village and 23 retailers are located here providing fantastic shopping opportunities.

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Westfield Stratford City

This shopping centre opened on 13th September 2011. It has a massive floor area just over 1,910,000 square feet and has 3 main floors. There are 5000 parking spaces for local residents and tourists alike. This is one of the largest shopping centres in Europe and the fourth largest in the UK. Close to the London Olympic park. Westfield Stratford City is a key part of the development project. It greatly contributes to the local economy with a total of 10,000 permanent jobs, over 2000 of which are filled by locals.

Westfield is one of the first developers to break shopping malls and centres out of a large enclosed box. By looking at how people flow through spaces and naturally interact with each other in the real world, Westfield were able to create small towns covering many leisure activities as well as office spaces and hotels. We no longer want to spend the day inside a white box moving from store to store, so why would a developer create a space like this. Whilst it isn’t residential, Westfield have created a space using very similar principles to scenario architecture.

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The International Quarter

The plans for the international quarter, a new neighbourhood in east London is particularly ambitious. The 22-acre site is being used for 333 new homes and will include 58,000 square feet of retail space. The aim is to ensure that there is also a 100% renewable energy supply and 100% fresh air in workplaces throughout the neighbourhood. As well as this, there will be 4 million square feet of office space for as many as 25,000 people in the plans for the area.

The aim is to provide a shared space for residents and businesses while maintaining the sustainable goals of the complete masterplan for Stratford. The International Quarter offers a holistic vision of urban life with a diverse environment that everyone can enjoy together. It is also designed to be a business area with the highest number of connections in London. A connection to King’s Cross is just six minutes away from the centre of this location.

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East Bank

The East Bank is a planned project that covers multiple sites around Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. This includes locations for BBC Music the V&A and the University College London. It is envisioned as a place for world-class culture as well as education. This new project is expected to bring 1.5 million visitors to the park annually and 2,5000 jobs throughout East Bank. The local economy could see an additional £1.5 billion due to the project as well.

In terms of education, UCL will build a brand new campus. This will include teaching facilities for over 4000 students. There will be classes in everything from robotics to smart cities. The remaining buildings around the East Bank will be opened in 2023 but UAL’s London College of Fashion is slated to open in 2022. The ambition of this project has been remarkable and it truly has revitalised Stratford, transforming it into the epitome of modern urban living in London.

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