The Landscape Guide

Isle of Dogs landscape

The land within this great loop of the River Thames became the location of a major urban regeneration project in the 1980s. It began when Mrs Thatcher's conservative government transferred ownership of the land from the Port of London Authority to the London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC) which offered tax incentives and began advertising land available for development. The key decision was to retain the dock basins as an urban amenity, instead of infilling them as had been done in the Surrey Docks and as the local authority planned for the Isle of Dogs. Many of the dock basins have been surrounded with dockside walks. They offer interesting views but most of them are too broad and have an excess of concrete paving blocks. Before the LDDC started works the docks were closed to the public and the Mudchute was main open space. It had been made in the nineteenth century using material excavated when making the dock basins. The Mudchute is now a park with some dull playing fields to the south but an interesting vernacular space to the north - it has semi-wild vegetation, rough paths and an urban farm. Access from Westferry Road - or the Docklands Light Railway (DLR)

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