Title: Open Spaces in Canary Wharf
Keywords: claustrophobia, open spaces, psychology
Description: As we walked down Canary Wharf, one thing that stood out to us was how the people working there were so relaxed and actually smiling during lunch hour. This was very different from many of the financial districts in other major cities such as Singapore and Hong Kong. We soon realized that this could be due to the abundance of open spaces in an area composed primarily of tall imposing skyscrapers. Despite there being so many tall buildings and people in a small area, one would not feel a sense of claustrophobia that is prevalent in the CBDs of many other major cities. Rather, it was extremely easy to find an empty space to have lunch, hold a conversation, or even just enjoy the sun. It was also not difficult to find a little quiet spot to temporarily escape the hustle and bustle of the area. So maybe one criterion for successful regeneration would be the provision of large open spaces that prevent the feeling of claustrophobia. In addition, we noticed that there were very little cars in Canary Wharf. We attributed this to the wealth of public transport in the area, such as the Docklands Light Railway, the London Underground, and bicycle rental stations. This lack of cars meant that office workers were drawn out of their offices into the open spaces, rather than escaping from the chaos and sensory overload of the streets and retreating into their offices.