Urban revitalization needs a layered approach—analysis, interviews, and historical research
Revitalizing a five-kilometre (three-mile) stretch of London’s Thames River takes vision. So, when the London Community Foundation, the City of London, and the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority launched the Back to the River International Design Competition, we challenged ourselves to come up with a vision inspired by history, connectivity, experience, and sustainability.
Partnered with Civitas, we formed a dynamic and interdisciplinary team with international and regional flare. This partnership brought together international landscape architects, urban designers, architects, structural engineers, river specialists, ecologists, and historians.
The team held multiple design charrettes to collectively assemble a vision for the Thames River. We analyzed the study area, talked to local residents, and reviewed historical data. We then formed our design approach based on this layered site data.
Our submission, titled “The Ribbon of the Thames,” envisions the Thames River corridor as an amenity to neighboring communities, with the river acting as a ribbon tying the communities together. The design has the active corridor serving as the green heart and lungs of this vibrant city. More importantly, it enables the city to unlock urban regeneration and create a four-season destination.
The result? First place in the competition.
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