We went this evening to see a film about Trinity Buoy Wharf which I strongly recommend if and when it is shown more widely.
Shortly before the London Docklands Development Corporation was closed down in 1998, an area of derelict land on the north bank of the Thames beyond Greenwich was allocated to a trust on a 125-year lease and given to an enlightened property developer, Eric Reynolds of Urban Space Management, to administer. Unlike the big developers, he has retained all the existing buildings and encouraged creative people, including, in its early days, Thomas Heatherwick, to take leases. The result is to create an environment very different from most of London: full of artists, mechanics and inventors.
The film was funny and highly instructive as to how an urban environment can be developed in a creative way: there is the workshop which makes props for English National Opera, a branch of the Royal Drawing School, a school and lots of containers which are available at low cost to the people who enrich the life of the city. It’s a model of what is needed as artists are pushed further and further east.