Seven Brand New Parks for London built onto the Thames

Designs for seven new public spaces, which are being built on the Thames, have been revealed.

They will be constructed as part of the Thames Tideway Tunnel, London’s new 25km long ‘super sewer’, and look somewhat like jetties, jutting out into the river.

Given that green spaces make up 47 per cent of the city, it is well-established that London loves a good park. And hopefully, on the news that we’re going to get seven new ones, you’ll be positively brimming with anticipation. The septet of Thames Parks will open on the riverbanks as part of the Thames Tideway project, creating new public areas for you to marvel at a cleaner river.

Chelsea Embankment, designed by Hawkins\Brown, Aecom, Gillespies, Studio Dekka. Photo: Tideway

A cleaner river? Indeed, the dream is alive! This is just one part of a large project, the centrepiece of which is creating a new “super sewer” to run beneath the Thames, in an attempt to clean it up – a project which reached the halfway mark back in February. Once completed, the sewer will block millions of tonnes of sewage from running into the river (gross, right?), as well as reducing pressure on an old system that brought you such delights as the Whitechapel fatberg.

King Edward Memorial Park, designed by Mott Macdonald
King Edward Memorial Park, designed by Mott Macdonald, muf, Weston/Williamson-Partners. Photo: Tideway

But since sewers aren’t exactly sexy PR, the Tideway crew have also taken the occasion to create these new Thames parks, and they look rather nice. The new public areas will be distributed along the Thames, implying you’ll never be far from one.

Victoria Embankment, designed by Hawkins\Brown, Aecom, Gillespies, Studio Dekka. Photo: Tideway

From west to east, you’ll find them at Putney Embankment, Chelsea Embankment, Heathwall Pumping Station in Nine Elms, Albert Embankment, Victoria Embankment, Blackfriars Bridge, and King Edward Memorial Park out in Shadwell.

Putney Embankment, designed by Arup Atkins. Confident of Tideway’s success, they think you’ll be able to see the bottom of the river. Photo: Tideway

Expect them to be quiet spots for a wander, with the Victoria and Blackfriars parks giving fantastic views over the Southbank. Art installations themed around the river will add a bit of culture to the views, and you might also learn something in the process.

Heathwall Pumping Station, designed by Hawkins\Brown, Aecom, Gillespies, Studio Dekka. Photo: Tideway

In a laudably bold move, the parks at Victoria, Chelsea, and King Edward Park will flood at high tides, encouraging passersby to dip their feet in a novel, cleaner Thames. It sounds incredible, but the Tideway team are confident of obtaining it.

Albert Embankment, designed by Hawkins\Brown, Aecom, Gillespies, Studio Dekka. Photo: Tideway

You’ll need to give them some time – the project isn’t slated to complete until 2023 (and that was before the pandemic hit), meaning that both the fancy new sewer and the Thames parks are a bit in the future. Hey, if they can clean up the Thames, you can handle waiting a little while!

You can find out more about the Tideway project from their website.

Blackfriars Bridge, image courtesy of Tideway.