City of the Future: Living in Canary Wharf

Eeshita Pande
4 min readJun 14, 2020

I moved to London 5 years ago and fell in love with its urban sophistication interspersed with sprawling parks, and masses of water. For the most part, I have lived in Canary Wharf & Greenwich in tall skyscrapers lined by the Thames, within easy reach of different parks.

Canary Wharf is dynamic with quirky skyscrapers popping up on the skyline regularly and it is this dynamism that is most appealing to young professionals like me — the simultaneous evolution of a city and its inhabitants creates a deeper connection than moving into a neighbourhood that has stayed unchanged for decades. Many new-builds have floor to ceiling windows which offer the feeling of levitating outdoors. Having had this much natural light, I cannot imagine living anywhere which does not offer such aspects. Combine that with stunning waterfront and City views and it is like living in a city of the future.

My design philosophy has been shaped by the experience of living a minimalist lifestyle where I am thoughtful about my purchases so I don’t clutter my living space. Canary Wharf offers plentiful opportunities but limited living space and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It is a deliberate choice to live a life with minimal clutter and possessions. In essence, there is a trade-off between the sleek, modern, minimalist Canary Wharf lifestyle and a bigger, historical, suburban existence. Personally, I would choose the former any day. New neighbourhoods popping up in Canary Wharf excite me and I think I have found one where I am ready to put down some metaphorical roots and take the plunge of becoming a homeowner.

As I have worked and lived through the pandemic, I feel lucky to have had some major breakthroughs which I can actually attribute to the lockdown. Life under lockdown in my newly plant-filled flat grew more fulfilling as I started engaging in more meaningful work, some of which originated as a result of the lockdown. However, as I started shouldering more responsibility at work, the stress also grew and I recently discovered a new way of alleviating it.

When in the trenches, it is extremely easy to fall into a cycle of work and low-quality leisure (binge-watching tv, mindlessly scrolling social media). Higher quality leisure is much harder to perfect and I finally discovered its joys first-hand. Having recently made two purchases (a Brompton Bike and a OneWheel), I started going on long rides across the river, in parks, and next to canals (all starting in Canary Wharf).

The first ride I went on along Regents Canal to Lee Valley Park was transformative and really converted me to the joys of riding as after a busy week, it was therapeutic to bike along the water in a sea of blue and green. For long stretches, my mind and body were in perfect sync as I pedalled along to the beats of relaxing rock music. It is very hard to describe but I gained a sense of elevation when I was able to step away from my immediate problems for a few hours. Having this distance allowed my mind to arrive at the positive learning outcomes of all the situations which seemed sticky during the week.

There is something to be said about the connection between the mind and body as the most relaxing activities that I have undertaken involve some kind of physical exercise. It is just not the same to wedge out on the couch and watch Netflix! I would highly recommend investing in some equipment (bike, skateboard) that offers a way for you to get out and about while getting some physical exercise.

In my mind, the outline of the skyscrapers against a cast sky fit perfectly against the immediate backdrop of sculpted nature and focused my attention on the achievement of building a city like London. That we can have the best of both worlds, living in modern buildings within walking distance of work yet be so connected to the natural outdoors to be able to hop on a bike and be engulfed by trees in park trails and next to canals, really seals the deal on London. This is the city of the future, growing with us, nurturing us, and then allowing us to step back and admire it from afar.

--

--

Eeshita Pande

Founder & CEO at TheaAI. Interested in health, wellness, and longevity. Using AI to build health solutions.