> I think it is easy to forget how terrible the
> riverside was, and how hostile to residents and
> tourists alike.
> Whilst we may not like all of the changes, I
> think it has massively improved and I am happy to
> spend lots of time walking the riverfront with my
I'd like to see better access to the foreshore - another boundary zone between land and water. Many of the old stairs and causeways have not been kept in good repair, and some of them are downright dangerous, disused, blocked off or no longer there.
The foreshore has been my 'park' for the years I have lived in SE1.
If the river's edge (and the river) are a missed opportunity how could the opportunity be better taken?
One observation from other European cities with rivers - the Thames is at least twice as wide as any other river through a major European city (excepting Istambul). So it is possible that the width of the river is such that its scale, its size, makes it difficult to be used as a social area or artery.
So, how about creating London's own 'Ile de france', an island situated in the middle of the Thames whose purpose and intention is to function as a cultural lung and a bridge between north and south. The river divided and passing down each side could easily accomodate vessels currently using the Thames.
Maybe the Corp of London and boroughs bounding the Thames edge might consider revising planning policy to actively promote the use of the river's edge by working boats and/or residential vessels.
Sorry to be a bore, but what you mean is Ile de la Cite and Ile Saint Louis. Ile de France is the province in which Paris is situated.
An island like that in the Thames would not be possible because you would obstruct the passing by of boats. The whole idea of such an island is that it should be easily accessible. The success of the two Parisian islands is that it is located very close to the riverbanks and as such is an integral part of the city whilst being unique in atmosphere. An island in the Thames would become too isolated from the rest of the city and then become artificial.
edited because of bad english
Edited 1 times. Last edit at 23 June 2004 8.13pm by maurits.
Just some observations regarding the concept: the Thames is at least twice as wide as the Seine which would offer plenty of room for boats. The Paris template is a great place to start and, obviously, was the place that I started. It works wonderfully well in Paris so maybe it could work in London. The island (or islands) would be intended to bring the city together, a stepping stone across the river. London Bridge used to be a community, a village, a place of commerce, why not an island linked north and south drawing the city together?
Tharg - I'm not sure if the tidal flow would slow. I suspect that the Thames doesn't freeze because of the rising ambient temperature but it would be fantastic were it to freeze. The reduced widths would also make skating safer.
Mickey S - an island could accomodate many of the features you suggest and more besides.
If a tunnel can be drilled under the English Channel, surely an island could be built in the Thames.
The Thames doesn't freeze because the water flows too quickly, the old bridges slowed the flow sufficiently enough for this to happen, there is plenty of literature to support this hypothesis, obviously it's also dependant on temperature. The river didn't freeze every year "in the old days", and despite the warmer winters we are apparently now experiencing, there will always be a chance of a "freak" cold spell.
Edited 1 times. Last edit at 23 June 2004 9.33pm by Tharg, drinker of Pervy.