London Mayor Boris Johnson Asked Apple to Help Build Garden Bridge

London Mayor Boris Johnson tried to convince Apple to fund the UK capital's project to build a "Garden Bridge" across the River Thames, as reported by Business Insider.

The report cites an article published today in The Architects' Journal which details how Johnson secretly travelled to California in early 2013 to meet Apple executives and pitch the ambitious project, before he had received official backing for the scheme from his office.

London Garden Bridge
Proposed design for Garden Bridge over the River Thames (Image: Arup)

Apple is well known for its intense interest in architectural design and its close attention to detail when planning and building its retail stores. However, it has little history of funding projects unrelated to its technology business, making Johnson's attempts to woo the company seem ill-judged.

In a statement given to The Architect's Journal, the London Mayor's office confirmed a meeting indeed took place with Apple to discuss "investment opportunities in London." However, Apple informed the publication that the company has "no involvement in this bridge project and is not considering getting involved."



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18 weeks ago
What exactly would Apple have gotten out of this?

They're all about architecture when it comes to selling products... But that bridge isn't part of any of their stores. Would it be visible from their stores?

Imagining street vendors on the bridge selling Apple products now.
Rating: 7 Votes
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18 weeks ago
Boris is a bumbling buffoon. And I say that as a Londoner.
Rating: 5 Votes
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17 weeks ago

Why doesn't he ask TfL to help, since they 'reinvest all their income'?


TfL are paying a lot of money towards this bridge, which is one of the reasons this thing is so controversial - it's a vanity project that has pretty questionable value in terms of transport.

e.g.: Cycles won't be allowed on the bridge (London desperately needs better cycle routes, especially crossing the river), and it won't be a public right of way. It may be closed for corporate events, closed at night time, and tickets may be required at peak times.

Still, it's a cool project.

http://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/garden-bridges-20m-public-loan-to-be-repaid-over-50-years/8691575.fullarticle
Rating: 4 Votes
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18 weeks ago
Why doesn't he ask TfL to help, since they 'reinvest all their income'?
Rating: 4 Votes
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17 weeks ago

TfL are paying a lot of money towards this bridge, which is one of the reasons this thing is so controversial - it's a vanity project that has pretty questionable value in terms of transport.

e.g.: Cycles won't be allowed on the bridge (London desperately needs better cycle routes, especially crossing the river), and it won't be a public right of way. It may be closed for corporate events, closed at night time, and tickets may be required at peak times.

Still, it's a cool project.

http://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/garden-bridges-20m-public-loan-to-be-repaid-over-50-years/8691575.fullarticle

Agreed, it is a cool project and something I wouldn't mind seeing.

However, the main problem is that is a private project, it is operated by a company, not by the city/councils and won't become public space yet they do want to use over £60 million of public money to build this private property. The Londoners who have already paid for the bridge through taxes will then still have to pay an entrance fee because, despite paying for it, it won't be their bridge.

If this bridge receives public money it should serve the public. Instead it mainly serves some private company. The problem is of course that if this was a public project, it wouldn't be built. TfL have dozens of more important things to fund, river crossings for cyclists for instance. At places where there is a big demand to cross the river. Not a vanity project connecting two areas full of millionaires.

Essentially the whole garden bridge project is a scam to funnel public money to private pockets. No wonder this scandal drags on and new dirt is discovered every couple of weeks. I think a few heads will roll before the end of the year.

http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/apr/21/garden-bridges-future-in-jeopardy-as-judicial-review-is-granted
http://prod.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/select-committee-urges-garden-bridge-funding-probe/8688887.fullarticle
Rating: 4 Votes
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18 weeks ago
I dont support the conservatives at all, I support Plaid, but he is one of the few MPs I like! I know he can make a fool out of himself, but if you meet him or ever talk to him, he is so on the ball and understands where people and companies are looking, so it was quite possible Apple were already looking at that, he found out and tried to convince them more.
Rating: 3 Votes
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18 weeks ago
Apple showing some good sense then.

The Garden Bridge is a complete waste of money. Hopefully it will get cancelled.
Rating: 3 Votes
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17 weeks ago
Lol...
Omg, am I the only one that TOTALLY had a flashback from Steve's last public appearance (pitching Apple Campus 2 @ Cupertino City Council) of the scummy/sleazy, opportunistic, dbag of a woman that kept on insisting Apple provide free wifi for Cupertino??
Rating: 3 Votes
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17 weeks ago
Despite the 'garden' aspect, this project truly stinks.
Rating: 3 Votes
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17 weeks ago
I'd love to have seen the Apple execs faces when Johnson told them, "I have a bridge to sell you." :D

Seriously though, the idea isn't that farfetched. Public-private projects are quite common now. Naming rights for public buildings and parks, leased out parking and driving enforcement (parking meters, red light cams, speed cams), leased out toll roads. A bridge isn't that far off the mark and as expensive as a bridge costs why not go to a company that has that kind of cash sitting around?

Obviously it didn't make business sense for Apple, but can't blame Johnson for trying. Much better than jacking up taxes or fees like they usually do.
Rating: 3 Votes
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