Thursday, 24 October 2013

Sustainable cities

View of the Emirates Airline from the Crystal café
We decided today was the day to experience the Emirates Airline where you travel by cable car from Victoria Dock to the O2 Dome: it's not what you would describe as a commuter route but we wanted to try it out. However we delayed all this fun by visiting The Crystal which is an exhibition centre nearby devoted to explaining why we need sustainable cities.

Apparently a new baby is born somewhere in the world every two seconds and the population is growing faster than we can cope so our friend's son who was born a mere five days ago has not been the youngest person on the planet for nearly his whole life.

They had an illustration of a city of the future which looked a lot like the photo above with little blinking dots showing the traffic. There were all sorts of interactive screens that explained stuff and there were displays of water pouring through rusty old Victorian pipes and salad plants growing in walls. There was an electric car I would like to been allowed to test drive and a weird Harley Davidson-style electric motor bike that you would need legs 10ft long to reach the pedals.

Then we ate our carefully considered lunch in this entirely sustainable building drinking tap water that we were assured was much better than anything that we can drink at home. We've now put The Crystal on to our list of places to bring future house guests which also means we can learn more about sustainable cities.

We really enjoyed our 'flight' in the cable car across the docks. You can see as far as the runway at London City Airport, south to the mast at Crystal Palace, beyond that the start of the Surrey Hills and to the east the beginnings of Kent. I also had a birds-eye view of a recycling centre and watched people sorting the rubbish and got a good view of the Thames Barrier. So all in all it was as refreshing as a mini-break to a far flung city.

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