New London Architecture

Changing face of Thamesmead

Wednesday 14 October 2020

John Lewis

John Lewis

Executive Director, Peabody

London is constantly changing. It is perpetually evolving and transforming into something new. Driven by myriad social, economic and political factors, it’s easy to get buffeted by circumstance when working on long-term regeneration projects.  Similarly, changes, challenges and setbacks can inspire new innovations and bold thinking about how and what we want our great city to be, and how we want to live in the future.   
 
This is why Peabody is supporting New London Architecture’s (NLA) ‘The Changing Face of London’ exhibition. The programme marks the 15-year anniversary of New London Architecture (NLA) by revisiting the very first exhibition on display in the NLA galleries when they opened in 2005. NLA’s original exhibition showcased the major regeneration sites and opportunity areas across the capital that were about to transform the face of London. Fifteen years on, the NLA is revisiting those sites to understand the achievements and the lessons which can be learned from the past 15 years, as they look ahead to how London may need to adapt over the next 15 years.

Thamesmead Festival 2019
The programme is a great opportunity not only to look back – to see what’s worked well and what hasn’t – but to look to the future and think about how we can all make London a fantastic place to live in the 2020s and beyond. Present Covid challenges aside, there is still much to be positive about. 
 
Thamesmead exemplifies this. It’s a remarkable place, with unique landscapes and valuable natural assets including five lakes, 150 hectares of open space and 5km of Thames River frontage. We’re investing in this, cultivating the natural environment and embedding green principles into some of the more urban parts of the town. All things being equal, the first phase of 534 new homes in South Thamesmead around a rejuvenated lake, arts centre, library will be complete by spring next year.
 
We’re investing in the existing homes and fabric, the public realm, and the amenities and activities on offer to people living, working or visiting the place. For me, it is about so much more than the physical environment. It’s about making a real difference to people’s lives. 
 
Culture creates communities. I see our role as facilitators and enablers. For culture to be embedded into a community, it needs to be led by the community. This helps to create a place where people want to be and where they feel at home. Culture isn’t an optional extra - it creates jobs, brings a community together, and enhances the sense of civic pride and belonging. Prioritising culture in the same way we plan for housing and transport is imperative, because you cannot create great places to live without cultural infrastructure.

Southmere Lake © Paul Elliott
We want to improve, grow and look after Thamesmead for the long-term. In order for Thamesmead to realise its full potential as a great town, we are taking a ‘whole place approach’. Our 30-year vision and mission describes ourapproach and sets out our ‘five Thamesmead goals’ - lived experience; growth and regeneration; landscape; arts, culture and heritage; people and community - to make sure we keep a firm focus on delivering real, visible improvements for residents. 
 
The face of London, and indeed Thamesmead, continues to change. I would encourage you to stop by Thamesmead to see for yourself as well as visiting the ‘Changing Face of London’ exhibition which is being held at The Building Centre until March 2021, and at the City Centre until December 2020. 
The full ‘Changing Face of London’ publication can be downloaded here.


John Lewis

John Lewis

Executive Director, Peabody


Changing face of London

#changingfaceofLDN

PROGRAMME CHAMPIONS


Recent

London needs ‘joined up’ vision, say Great Estates

News

London needs ‘joined up’ vision, say Great Estates

The Great Estates are working hard to help retailers, restaurant and bar owners, cultural institutions and residents in...

London urged to reaffirm its ‘attitude and positivity’

News

London urged to reaffirm its ‘attitude and positivity’

London needs to reaffirm some of the ‘attitude’, positivity and ambition that characterised its development highlights o...

A new era for Hornsey Town Hall

News

A new era for Hornsey Town Hall

The Grade II * listed Hornsey Town Hall located on Crouch End Broadway has a rich cultural heritage spanning over half a...

Stay in touch

Upgrade your plan

Choose the right membership for your business

Billing type:
All prices exclude VAT
View options for Personal membership