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Living with water

The publication considers the future of the development of the Thames Gateway and Estuary, looking at the likely impact flooding and increased flood risk will have, and the implications for design. The report aims to encourage further debate on the important issues of design, land-use and flood risk.

The publication brings together five essays from prominent commentators and futurologists. They each provide new understanding and insight into the discussion surrounding our evolving relationship with water, and highlight the necessity to inject greater long-term vision into the development of the Thames Gateway.

Contributors include:

Alan Cherry of Countryside Properties; David Price and Reg Ward (former CEO of the London Docklands Development Corporation);
Kees van der Sande and Kiran Curtis of KCA Architects;
Kim Wilkie of Kim Wilkie Associates;
and Glen Moorley and Paul Ruff of Westminster University.

Speaking about the report Jack Pringle, RIBA President, said:

“We all know that if climate change is not effectively mitigated flooding will be a real danger to one extent or another. Yet we need to build 300,000 new houses a year and the low lying Thames Gateway is an attractive site for new communities in the South East. This report is a challenging and innovative piece of work that we hope will make people think and decide what we really should be doing with the enormous opportunity that the Gateway represents.

“Flooding already affects millions of households in the UK, and will only increase in importance in the coming years. This report shows that applying a long-term vision to London’s backyard can bring enormous benefits – dealing with problems rather than ignoring them and making our communities more inviting and stimulating places to live while allowing us to prepare for and protect against the rising waters that surround us.”

Dickon Robinson, Chair of Building Futures, added:

“There are not enough answers to the questions regarding whether the development of the Thames Gateway is ecologically or sustainably viable. We hope that Building Futures can begin to stimulate architects and others to begin to answer the questions that climate change is posing us. This report is only the first stage of a longer term project. The next stage of the programme will be to develop and launch design guidelines for architects working on projects in flood-risk areas.”

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