Oct 16, 2013
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Strand East, IKEA’s prototype town

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Strand East is a 6,000-person community the corporation is building on a 27-acre industrial plot adjacent to London’s 2012 Olympic Park. Already under construction, the village will open in 2013.

The project, which is being run by the Swedish company’s real estate arm, borrows hallmarks from Scandinavian urban planning. For example, Strand East will be car-free, with exceptions made for ambulances and buses. Retail activity in Strand East will be limited to non-chains companies and rents will be affordable to a broad range of budgets. As far as the homes themselves go, they’ll play to a broad spectrum of tastes (much like IKEA’s pleasantly modern furniture), with townhouses, free-standing homes, offices, shops, and apartments nestled together in a plan that seems vaguely reminiscent of Denmark’s “co-housing” tradition.

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