London doesn’t need more green space. 38% of the capital is already green or open space. Might London’s canals help to curate existing forgotten or underused green spaces, kickstarting re-generation in their wake. The city’s canals have lost their original purpose. Built for work they used to carry materials across the length and breadth of London to places of industry. This purpose is largely defunct with the canal being now a place of leisure rather than a place of commerce.
The routes could be formed by a breathable, multi-layered membrane, filtering detritus and bacteria at decreasing scales. This system is being pioneered by the ‘+Pool’, a project for a public swimming pool in the Hudson, NYC. Biodiversity and cleanliness would be further improved by incorporating oxygenating reeds in key locations. So, the question becomes, could you swim from little Venice to Limehouse?
Architects: Studio Location: Regents Canal, London, UK Project Team: Alex Smith + David Lomax Client: Landscape Institute Ideas Competition for a “Highline for London” Status: Shortlisted, Winner announced October 8 Size: 15km Date: 2012