The Thames is the most fantastic large linear space establishing and defining the physical character, history and distinction of the city. However the river remains the largest and most poetic untapped public realm within London. Its potential as a public water 'park' is largely undeveloped. Instead this extensive area is now largely desolate and underused, and frequently as at Nine Elms it is seen as an edge defining constraint with the river side walks becoming a tentative apology.
The Thames should not be seen as a void within the heart of the city, a barrier to be overcome at all cost, nor the naked backdrop to commercial development, when imagination could transform this into the public realm of London for the 21st century.
The water of the river and its tideway is the most natural and readily available amenity for central London. This study poses questions of perception and culture for Londoners about that could be done with the river and how it might be re-engaged and opened up, drawing upon international examples and landscape precedents.