Thames foreshore and beaches – the need for a landscape strategy

by Tom Turner @ 6:44 pm June 5, 2014 -- Filed under: Landscape Architecture,London urban design   

The previous video argued that London’s Thames beaches are much safer than the beaches below the Seven Sisters and Dover white cliffs. This video looks in more detail at the availability of public stairs down to the foreshore. They have been in decline for 3 centuries and the twentieth century was the period of sharpest decline. ‘The Authorities’ by which I mean the London boroughs and the Port of London Authority, discouraged access for reasons of health and safety. If logic ruled, these Authorities would be even more opposed to horse riding, boxing, crossing roads, cycling and foreign travel. Fortunately, logic guides this blog – which therefore calls for a landscape strategy for the visual, ecological, archaeological and functional aspects of London’s Thames foreshore and beaches.
The Health and Safety Executive believes that ‘complying with health and safety regulations was often used as a “convenient excuse” for organisations to justify unnecessary decisions.’

2 Comments »

  1. The ecology of river banks is an interesting topic as some rivers in cities are still undergoing the process of embankment.[ http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/south-bank-corporation-removing-brisbane-river-mangroves-so-visitors-can-enjoy-green-space/story-e6freoof-1225893651709?nk=5c3e9aa71d33d5ac25160bbd42c3555b ]

    It would be interesting to have an understanding of the process of embankment of the Thames and its consequences for the city and its ecological and social life. [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thames_Embankment ]

    Comment by Christine — July 3, 2014 @ 4:17 am

  2. The Wiki article on embanking the Thames in London seems to be about the history of public embanking projects. Embanking (also public) probably began in Roman times and private embanking probably continued from the early medieval period until public works got underway in the nineteenth century. None of these works had any concern for the ecology of banks – and the first ecological project I can think of took place on the Greenwich Peninsula in preparation for the millennium celebrations.
    Removing mangroves to make way for coffee bars seems a bad idea to me – I wonder if the planners know that coffee prices are heading for boiling point?

    Comment by Tom Turner — July 7, 2014 @ 4:36 am

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