Thames Floating Walkway

News of a futuristic floating boardwalk appeared in the press in January 2011. It is set to be built along the north shore of the Thames in time for the 2012 Olympics. The eye-catching walkway will be constructed beside a river garden, stretching along the Thames from Blackfriars to the Tower of London. It will provide the first continuous pedestrian link along the northern bank and connect some of London's most visited tourist attractions, such as St Paul's Cathedral and Tower Bridge.

It is proposed that the boardwalk will link five pavilions focusing on leisure, education, green energy, innovation and events. The design, by international architecture firm Gensler, has been shortlisted for the best conceptual project prize at the Mayor's London Planning Awards. Boris Johnson is understood to be keen to press ahead with the river garden project whether it wins or not, although it is as yet unfunded.

The proposal is likely to face objections from campaigners who will point out that it is on a World Heritage site, but the entire structure would be temporary - and floated into place - meaning it could be installed without damaging its surroundings. Gensler said the walkway would enable pedestrians "to experience a totally new relationship with the river and the city".

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