Friday 23 June 2006

TURNING THE TIDE. Regenerating London’s Thames Gateway. 5 July – 2 September 2006

Turning the Tide, a major new public exhibition taking place at New London Architecture (NLA) from 5 July – 2 September 2006, will provide the definitive guide to London’s Thames Gateway. 

What is London Thames Gateway? Where is it? What is it all about? We all know that the Olympics in 2012 will kick start the regeneration of east London, but what is happening now? Is it too long on speeches, reports and wishful thinking, but short on substance? This exhibition will directly answer these questions for the people likely to be affected by this massive regeneration project. It will show who’s involved, what they are doing and where, as well as what they ought to be doing.

The Thames Gateway has long been a key plank in successive governments’ thinking for developing London to the east, acting potentially as both the city’s safety valve and a regeneration opportunity to accommodate the kinds of growth that governments have projected as being ‘required’ in terms of housing and jobs. These targets are 180,000 jobs and 120,000 homes in the Gateway within the next 10 years, helping to absorb the capital’s needs and even potentially helping to reduce house price inflation. Meanwhile, plans hope to transform deprived, inaccessible communities left with legacies of large scale dereliction and contaminated land.

As part of wider growth, a major improvement to London’s infrastructure is often viewed essential to maintain and further exploit London’s attractiveness to inward investment. And the Thames Gateway is critical to this improvement, because no other part of the capital offers such scope to absorb new growth in housing and jobs, and to ease the pressures on London’s social fabric.

Yet relatively little has been produced about the Thames Gateway’s exact nature and current condition since it emerged as a ‘national priority area’ for regeneration and growth from the Government’s Sustainable Communities Plan, launched by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott in February 2003. 

Through the extensive use of maps, photographs and models of the region and some of its key developments – proposed and built – Turning the Tide will provide much needed insight. It will chart the history of the area, progress made so far, the key proposals for transport improvements in the area (including a new Thames Gateway bridge between Beckton and Woolwich), the Government perspective, and the main players involved. The task is to transform the Gateway from being home to around 1.6million people in some of the most deprived wards in the country – characterised by a lack of access to public transport, services, employment and affordable quality housing – into an effective, well-designed and sustainable working community.

An extensive series of free talks will accompany the exhibition on Wednesday mornings throughout July and August, featuring high-profile individuals involved in delivering strategy or developments in the London Thames Gateway region.

Notes to editors:
New London Architecture (NLA) at the Building Centre is an exhibition centre dedicated to the future of the built environment in London that is open to the public free of charge 6 days a week. The capital is undergoing a period of massive change and NLA is a place where everyone - professionals, politicians and the public - can find out and get involved in what is happening to the city. NLA has over 2000 visitors a week to the public exhibitions, events, talks and lectures that are organised to encourage constant debate, learning and networking across the profession and local communities. www.newlondonarchitecture.org

Principal Sponsors: Alexander Forbes International Risk Services, Argyll Business Centres, CABE, City of London, DTZ, whitbybird

Partners: Assael Architecture, BDP, Beetham Organisation, British Land, Broadgate Estates, The Crown Estate, David Chipperfield Architects, Derwent Valley Holdings, Development Securities, English Partnerships, EPR, Grosvenor, Hayes Davidson, Hines, The Howard de Walden Estate, LMS, London Borough of Newham, London Communications Agency, Parkview International, Pipers, Pollard Thomas Edwards Architects, The Portman Estate, Prudential, RMJM, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Southwark Council, Stanhope, ttsp, The Royal Bank of Scotland, URS, Waterman, Wordsearch

The Building Centre Trust is an educational charity providing cultural and educational activities in the built environment.

For further press information or images please contact: Debbie Whitfield or Zoe Wilkinson at Caro Communications T: +44(0)20 7336 8488 E: debbie@carocommunications.com

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