The Thames is central to London: a source of its growth, an important piece of infrastructure and a key element in its identity. After decades of relative neglect, London is rediscovering the potential of the river as an economic and public asset – with new attention paid to the quality of the built environment and public space, its value as a transport corridor, and its health as an environmental system. This creates new opportunities, but also new challenges and trade-offs. Fulfilling the potential of the Thames will require balancing these demands and articulating a strategic vision for its future.
Centre for London ran a seminar series, which investigated the key issues for the Thames and how London can maximize the potential of the river. We looked at sustainability of the river, using the Thames more as a transport corridor, the river as a public amenity, the estuary and the quality of design and development along the banks.
Further work on this would include analysis on how the river works in terms of current patterns of ownership, investment and governance; an assessment of past and current initiatives and their impact on this; and comparisons of London’s experience with that of other cities in Europe and North America. A second phase would define a coherent vision for the physical form of the Thames corridor; establish a set of principles and priorities to enhance the Thames as a public asset; and articulate those principles and priorities into propositions for future development.
Contact Ben Rogers, Director of Centre for London for more details.