This Putney embankment is just one of seven new waterfront parks coming to London
London’s a riverside city. Its history, its commerce and, in more contemporary times, its leisure time are inseparable from The Thames. With the latter in mind, a new stretch of beautified riverbank has recently opened in west London.
The 50 square metre stretch is in Putney, but word has it that there are more spots like it to come.
What’s Down There?
It’s largely as you’d expect. There’s a nice paved area with some benches and a picturesque view of the river.
Scottish artist Claire Barclay was commissioned to create an artwork that beautifies the spot and also marks the start line of the classic The Boat Race – you know, that annual row-off between Oxford and Cambridge Unis.
And How About These Other Developments?
First let’s talk about why. The reason behind this redevelopment of the waterfront is tied up with a different London infrastructure project. That would be the Thames Tideway project to build a new sewage system, often touted as a ‘super sewer’.
The 25 km of pipelines are being made with the aim of giving an outlet to sewage overflow and will carry the nasty stuff away from the river (and places you generally don’t want sewage) to treatment plants on London’s edges.
But what’s all this got to do with creating nice new public spaces? Well, this new super sewer will run along the river through central London, and they’ll have to tear up some waterfront space to lay it down. When they’ve got the sewer in they’ll turn the above-ground spaces into pretty embankments.
The first of these is the Putney spot. Six more are planned in Nine Elms, Chelsea, Victoria Embankment and Albert Embankment, as well as Blackfriars and Shadwell.
Happy riverside strolling, folks.
Putney Embankment: Practical Information
Where: Putney, between Putney Pier and Putney Bridge
When: It is open now