IKEA Urbanism is Here

The Huffington Post reports that IKEA is planning to build “1,200 houses, as well as shops, cafés and a 350-room hotel covering 26 acres by the Olympic Park in Stratford, East London.”

Thrilled?  Appalled?  Here’s a bit more of the description to wet your insatiable IKEA/urbanism whistle…

The whole site will be surrounded by two waterways, so the idea is to create a “mini Venice”, the developers explained on Thursday. Residents can make the most of their waterside location by using the moorings, water taxi service, and even a floating cocktail bar.

Sounds downright lovely.

But of course, the prospect of IKEA – a company who worships at the alters of function with the inexpensive – comes a whole host of potential issues that clash with the zeitgeist that motivates most lovers of urban space.  Diversity of product and quality being two of the most prominent.   The Pop-Up City blog nicely summarized the internal struggle…

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