Like any other big city, London has long been the subject of developers' fantasies, planners' dreams and dreamers' plans. But, unusually for a city of London's size and standing, it has rarely succumbed to the grandiose building schemes that mark other world cities.
There is no blueprint to rival Hausmann's Paris, no block and grid system that is so much a feature of American metropolises, not even the ancient imperial designs of Rome or Beijing. Instead, central London's cityscape has traditionally been developed project by project, area by area, rather than by some overarching vision.
But that conservatism is about to be punctured in the next few years as some of the city's most famous sites get a makeover, often with tourists and pedestrians in mind.
In this unique LondonNet guide, we pick a Top Ten of the most interesting projects due to appear in the next half decade, look at some of the failed schemes from the past and answer some key queries on the capital's future building plans.