Barking Riverside, part of Thames Gateway development project in East London, is a new development for more than 10,000 new homes, office spaces, schools and other public services for both existing and new residents. 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. Its location at the downstream end of existing creeks creates particular sensitivity to future flooding events.
The landscape proposal for this site transforms the risk of flooding into a design feature of the development and park 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 the green corridors through the development and the incorporation of large street trees, the park area surrounding the development helps to establish sheltered local micro-climates and contributes to the reduction of the urban heat island effect. Additionally, the landscaped areas provide space for recreational areas, picnic zones, community gardens, walking trails and opportunities for informal education.
The innovative strategy for both the fluvial and surface water is key to the landscape’s success: mitigating the impact of future predicted climate change and shaping the new landscape.