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Buzzing about Thamesmead Waterfront strategic masterplanning competition

25th February 2021

This month, I sat alongside (virtually) some very brilliant people on an expert panel to hear from shortlisted teams in the Thamesmead Waterfront strategic masterplanning competition. And wow! What a day!

This was a really exciting opportunity to hear from and question five dynamic shortlisted teams all vying to be the masterplanners of this fantastic project in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. The competitors’ ideas left me buzzing with excitement for the future of this place!

This Q&A showcase was part of stage 2 in a competition – that began with over 70 immensely strong applicants from around the world – to learn about and help shape the imaginative and practical ways the shortlisted teams would bring together the needs of people, place and nature.

The Thamesmead Waterfront is very much about the green environment, access to the beautiful waterfront, housing of lots of different types, new leisure and education, cultural and retail facilities. The area, which is approximately the size of central London, has the potential to be a truly fantastic place to live. And with new transport links it could be just 20 minutes from zone 1! Its potential to support growth locally and in the wider Estuary area post COVID-19 is significant.

The development is being led by a unique 50/50 Joint Venture partnership between Peabody, one of the oldest and most prestigious housing associations in the country, and Lendlease, an industry leader in designing and building sustainable, innovative and thriving places. Their clear principles for the project are:

  • Natural living – Using and enhancing the existing landscape to create a unique natural destination for Thamesmead, London and the South-East – providing a place where people can unwind and find space to enjoy the natural world.
  • A city neighbourhood – Providing the social infrastructure and workplaces to enable a resilient mixed-use neighbourhood with the choice, variety and opportunities of the best parts of London and the South-East.
  • Better connections – Transforming connectivity into central London, including use of the river; connecting into the ‘Go East’ production corridor; and creating a legible, connected local network across Thamesmead.
  • A safe, stable and sustainable community – Creating a place that people are proud of, through community ownership and participation. A place where you know your neighbours and your neighbourhood, where you feel safe and healthy. A place that is founded on robust stewardship and long-term viability.
  • Inclusive and affordable for all – Making affordable but high-quality homes, workplaces and neighbourhoods, for a diverse community of people and businesses, creating jobs and opportunities for all.

The intention of the panel sessions, chaired by Dame Alison Nimmo DBE, was to help shape and inform teams’ approaches before the final submission date of 19 March 2021. Final interviews to select the winning strategic masterplanning team are expected to be in April 2021.

The calibre of the shortlisted teams was superb, and this will be an exciting project to follow. Find out more here: www.thamesmead-waterfront.co.uk