London-based designer Thomas Heatherwick has created designs for a $93 million (£60 million) garden bridge. The pedestrian walkway would incorporate plantings from grasses to trees while spanning the Thames River from Covent Garden to the South Bank.
“With its rich heritage of allotments, gardens, heathland, parks and squares, London is one of the greenest cities in the world,” said Heatherwick. “In this context we are excited to have been selected by Transport for London to explore the opportunity of a pedestrian river crossing. The idea is simple; to connect north and south London with a garden.”
The bridge coincides with London Mayor Boris Johnson’s goals to create more Thames’ crossings and to build an iconic piece of green infrastructure like New York’s High Line, a park built on an elevated historic rail line above Manhattan. “We have been working with actor and campaigner Joanna Lumley, who has been a proponent of such an idea for several years,” Heatherwick said.
“It’s quite strange to talk of something that doesn’t exist yet, but the Garden Bridge is already vivid in the plans and the imagination,” said Lumley. “It will be the slowest way to cross the river, as people will dawdle and lean on parapets and stare at the great cityscapes all around.” It will however, offer pedestrians a safe way to cross the Thames, she said. In addition, the bridge will contain plants native to London riparian habitats, including grasses, trees, and wild flowers.
The project will move forward if Heatherwick can raise private funds.