Landscape and its infrastructure at the heart of the plans
Architect Sir Terry Farrell has set out a vision of landscape-based development in the Thames Estuary. It is the latest stage of five years’ thinking by Sir Terry, who was appointed by the Government in 2007 as design champion for the Thames Gateway Parklands and tasked with producing a highly visual Parklands spatial framework, setting the overarching vision for the region.
Sir Terry explains:” The Thames Estuary was shaped by nature and in turn shaped our history. The Parklands vision is about respecting and enhancing that natural and man-made heritage. It is truly one unique place.”
The key points of the Parklands vision are:
Water Parklands: to reveal lost tributaries, improve wetlands, revive under-used docks, canals, piers, promenades and waterfronts, and provide new river connections.
Community Parklands: to improve access to green and open spaces in the Thames Estuary and to open spaces to connect communities together. This could include creating pedestrian and cycle links, and setting aside areas for cultural and sporting activities.
Urban Parklands: to improve the public realm and create public spaces in urban areas, such as promenades, river walkways, squares, play areas and “urban beaches”.
Parklands Historic Environment: to regenerate historical and cultural sites to help give a clear identity to each community in the Thames Estuary region.
Connected Parklands Landscape: to connect open and green spaces together to create a continuous green link based on plans for Green Grids through East London, South Essex and North Kent, and to connect communities to each other and open spaces. This will include further development of the Thames Estuary Path.
Agriculture as Parklands: to appreciate agricultural landscapes, enhance biodiversity and provide opportunities for local food production.
Parklands and the eco-region: to use Parklands to help the Gateway become the UK’s first eco-region by encouraging local food and material production, natural drainage, reduced car use and sustainable transport links.