Development of the Royal Docks initially lagged behind that of the Isle of Dogs but was gathering momentum by the end of the twentieth century. This led to the approval of some small-scale and rather insignificant projects. It appears the land owners did not appreciate the majesty of the development potetntial which lay within their grasp. By London standards the scale of the landscape is enormous. As the photograph (right) shows only the buildings on the Isle of Dogs are proportionate to the vastness of the impounded water. It is regrettable that the planning authorities did not stipulate that all buildings in the area must have vegetated roofs. It could have been a pioneer project for the sustainable cities of tomorrow. See also: essay on eco-city plans for sustainability.
Gillespies prepared a landscape strategy for the docks in the early 1980s and were then retained as consultants for a time thereafter. Bill Gillespies' idea of using wind-powered pumps as dramatic features, to replace the old cranes, was not adopted. But a landscape infrastructure was created beside the new roads and the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) was built. London City Airport was made on land between the dock basins and new public spaces were created to the north.
Access from Connaught Road or Docklands Airport.
From afar, the landscape of the Royal Docks looks like a great water-park. From within, many of the spaces are even bleaker than the 'hard landscape' zones on the Isle of Dogs.