Design

Manhattan transfer: High Line concept set for London

Our latest WORKTECH Wednesday Briefing presents a new project to bring New York’s High Line concept to a section of disused railway north of King’s Cross, a panel discussion on hybrid working models and a new virtual event on workplace innovation

New York’s popular High Line, a linear park created on an elevated section of disused railway track, regenerated a key area of mid-town Manhattan. Completed in 2011, it boosted the local economy and supported new commercial development, including the 28-acre Hudson Yards complex that has become home to many leading companies.

Now the designer behind the High Line, James Corner, has been asked to pull off the same trick in London.Corner has been appointed lead architect for a project that will create a green parkland ribbon running over abandoned railway viaducts north of King’s Cross, itself the focus of imaginative mixed-use redevelopment.

‘This project might be the shot in the arm London needs in the period of post Covid-19 recovery…’

The scheme will stretch from Camden to York Way, offering walkers a range of attractions from hanging vines and tree planters to picnic tables and trampolines. Local architects vPPR will work with James Corner Field Operations to develop the Camden Highline, which is described by London mayor Sadiq Khan as having ‘the potential to become a really important new asset for the local community in Camden and people across the capital’.

Estimates put the cost of the London version of New York’s High Line at around £35 million. If it proves as successful in terms of inward investment as James Corner’s original tourist attraction, it might be the shot in the arm London needs in the period of post Covid-19 recovery.

Transitioning to the hybrid workplace

Everyone is talking about the hybrid workforce right now, but what are the complexities and potential challenges in switching to new models? In our latest WORKTECH webinar on 18 February 2021, Unwork CEO and founder Philip Ross talked to Franciscco Acoba of Deloitte, Jenna Geigerman of Citrix, Dinesh Malkani of Smarten Spaces and Robert Morelli of HSBC about the changes they are seeing across different organisations as they transition to more flexible working.

One of the prominent themes in the webinar was the ability to lead and manage hybrid teams and maintain a consistent company culture across different groups. Research from Deloitte has found that organisations are looking at between 20-45 per cent of their overall workforce transitioning to a hybrid model – this will have a significant impact on the workplace, employee culture and expectations.

Robert Morelli of HSBC believes that the hybrid model is more complex than just a divide between home and office working. He explained: ‘One size does not fit all… work will be hybrid, but then it will be hybrid within hybrid.’ As organisations dive deeper into the world of flexible working, it will be up to leaders to effectively manage their teams and the company culture they experience. This means that leaders will have to be reskilled to deal with the expectations of a workforce that demands flexibility and autonomy. View the full webinar below:

Workplace Innovation event

The pandemic has seen a rise in innovative thinking, strategic planning and study of new technologies within organisations on a global scale. It has never been more important to keep abreast of the latest thinking in workplace innovation amid a process of transformation and reinvention. A new virtual event is coming to the WORKTECH conference series in March, Workplace Innovation, which will explore the latest trends, innovations and best practice from across the world.

Themes that will discussed range from robotics, AR and VR to data analytics, personalisation tools and digital tools for more effective collaboration. Attendees will learn how the latest workplace innovations can help organisations future-proof workplace strategies and stay ahead in an increasingly competitive and uncertain business world. Taking place on 9-10 March 2021, this two-day virtual conference and exhibition will support organisations as they transition into the new world of work. Find out more about the event here.

In our WORKTECH Wednesday Briefings, we reach out to our 10,000-plus Academy members, WORKTECH attendees, speakers, partners and sponsors while WORKTECH’s professional conference series continues through our virtual platforms. This edition is posted 24 February 2021.
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