About Rosie Oliver


Posts by Rosie Oliver:

What price London’s air?

When William III introduced the window tax it was met with popular outrage. Famously, there were those who bricked in their windows to avoid paying. What might otherwise have been welcomed as a progressive tax on large property owners, was instead perceived as a charge on light (hence the expression ‘daylight robbery’) and air.I found myself(…)

Bedlam and silence: the awful sounds of peace

Remembrance Sunday this year falls on 11 November, exactly 100 years after Armistice Day. To mark the occasion London’s Imperial War Museum has a programme of exhibits and events that look at the moment peace broke out.  What comes through strongly is the sonic quality of that moment. On the battlefield, there was an instant silencing of artillery(…)

Tackling the trash in the Thames

In the week that saw the launch of a 600m long floating barrier to clean up the Pacific Garbage Patch, we’ve been thinking about all the litter in London’s waterways. We’ve featured below three projects to tackle the problem that anyone can get involved in.Trash is, of course, something we talk about on A Rubbish Trip. We’re next leading(…)

Open House for Dotmakers

With September just around the corner, we’ve been turning our thoughts to Open House weekend on 22nd-23rd. It’s when hundreds of fabulous buildings in London open their doors to the public for free. There’s loads to delight lovers of architecture and the decorative arts. We’ve been rooting through the schedule for more Dotmaker-ish destinations. Here(…)

London without cars

Last Saturday I gained an insight into what London might feel like without cars. As part of the Ride London festival, Waterloo Bridge (pictured) and other roads round the city centre were reserved for cyclists. It was strange to walk along the Strand and hear only the sound of chatter and spinning wheels.For cyclists, the(…)

London’s underground heat

It’s been a hot few weeks here in London. Above-ground, things have been made worse by the heat island effect: all the reflective hard surfaces and heat from cars and air conditioners, which mean that temperatures in the city centre can be up to 10C warmer than in the countryside. Things have been pretty steamy underground,(…)

Time to talk about the Thames Tideway tunnel

The Thames Tideway tunnel – also known as the ‘super sewer’ – will be the biggest infrastructure project ever undertaken by the UK water industry. I first heard about it in 2003. I had recently joined the legal team at the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), and was about to take on(…)

A Poetic Response to The London Ear

I received this week the best thank you I’ve ever had for a walk: a wonderful poem. It’s called Abecedarian for the future sounds of the city and was written by the poet Sarah Salway who came on The London Ear on Tuesday evening. Sarah penned it afterwards as an example for her students of an ‘Abecedarian’, where the first(…)

Tranquil City

For most of us, our experience of London most of the time is as a noisy fast place. We arrive at crowded stations, rush to work along busy roads, shop to blaring music, and go for drinks in places where we have to shout to be heard. The challenge of finding a slower side to(…)

Celebrating London’s trees

It’s May, the sun is out and the trees are looking good! As well as their gorgeous spring finery, here are five things to love about London’s trees.London’s trees are as much a part of the capital’s human history as are its buildings. Take the London Plane, which is in fact a cross between the(…)