This project of more than 10,000 new homes, offices, schools and public services, is part of the Thames Gateway development in East London. It is located on a brownfield site of 185 hectares that prior to its industrial function used to be part of the estuary and floodplains of the river Thames. It is particularly sensitive to future flooding events.

The design recognises that for a sustainable design concept, a sizeable amount of land needs to be given back to water. The proposal transforms the risk of flooding into a feature of the landscape. A solution has been developed with landscape in mind to link this partially dismantled industrial site back to its former function as a floodplain connecting into the existing East London Green Grid ecological network. Together with green corridors and the incorporation of large street trees, the park surrounding the development helps to establish sheltered local micro-climates and helps reduce the urban heat island effect. Additionally, the landscaped areas provide space for recreation, picnic zones, community gardens, walking trails and informal education.

It is the strategy for both the fluvial and surface water that will be key to the landscape’s success as it must mitigate the impact of future predicted climate change. Land has been raised to protect residents from fluvial flooding from the Thames and the existing creeks. The parkland incorporates flood compensation areas for when a heavy storm event coincides with the high tide as this could result in tide-locked creeks creating flooding risks to existing, neighbouring low-lying residential areas. 

Landscape architect: Gustafson Porter

Credits as supplied: Architect + Urbanist: Maxwan, MaccreanorLavington, Sheppard Robson Engineer: Hyder Consulting Ltd Transport Engineer: JMP Consulting.