With all the worries about global warning in the media recently, a floating village seems to be a unique solution to flood problems in the UK. And today, the Mayor of London – Boris Johnson – announced plans to build a floating village on the River Thames.
In an attempt to revitalise the construction industry, Johnson also took a swipe at the Conservative government and implied that they should do more to help the country’s economy.
In a statement to the waiting press, he said: “London is the locomotive of the UK. We have to stop talking the language of austerity. That is not a policy for economic growth,” he added, “It has the potential to become one of the most sought after addresses in the capital while breathing new life back into London’s waterways.”
Johnson wants to completely regenerate some of the more derelict sites around the capital’s eastern waterways, after the hugely successful London 2012 Olympic Games, in which many sites were revamped for the visiting athletes and dignitaries.
When the land for the Olympic Games were being developed, it is estimated that around 200 hectares of contaminated and derelict land in the east end of London was taken over to be redeveloped. Stadiums were built and accommodation and residential neighbourhoods and parks were designed and are still being used today.
Johnson said that the new floating village would be called “the Venice of London”, and launched a competition, along with plans to find a developer, to oversee the project.
Part of the planned floating village scheme will include the Royal Victoria Docks, which is just one of three docks in east London. The project will also include 15 acres of water around the Royal Victoria Docks, and include the east of London’s Canary Wharf financial district. The whole floating village scheme will see the land and water turned into a plot with floating homes, hotels, restaurants and bars.
Johnson said that the size of the project would be almost twice the size of the city’s Green Park, and whilst it would regenerate the east end of London, it would also help to solve the capital’s dire shortage of housing.
The scheme is headed up by the London Development Agency, but they need to recruit a partner to help them to redevelop the Royal Albert Docks, which include a 35-acre area that house not only derelict docks, but unused warehouses and industrial land near London City Airport. To link the floating village to other parts of the capital, it is thought that a new cable car system will be put in place and a Crossrail link will also be developed.
Despite Johnson’s affiliation with the Tory party, he has garnered widespread support from across all political parties, with Labour Newham’s mayor Sir Robin Wales voicing his enthusiasm. He said: “London is moving eastwards and the Royal Docks offer an investment opportunity in scale unmatched anywhere in Europe.
This exciting development is a pivotal part of their reanimation,” he said. “As today’s announcement shows, they have the capacity to attract modern sustainable businesses and deliver 21st century growth for the capital. It is essential that the transformation of the area translates into long-term prosperity, growth and jobs.”
And the idea is not as far fetched as you would imagine, as there are floating developments at Ijburg near Amsterdam and HafenCity in Hamburg, Peru Lake Titicaca Floating Island, Lake Titicaca Floating Islands, as well as others throughout Scandinavia. Johnson said: “Right across London there are incredible investment opportunities that I’m determined to bring to market, creating more homes and jobs for Londoners.”