Walk 7 Alexander Duncan and Aethan Wills


Hidden Rivers

Friday 31 October

10:00 – 13:00

Meeting point: MI6 building


Hidden Rivers is not just about rivers, but more of an exploration into the landscape and how we treat it, react to it and evolve with it. So looking at the ideas of why the rivers were covered up, and why we dam areas of land to create lakes (Serpentine, Regents park boating lake) instead, the controlled segregation of land, the re-emergence of the rivers – flooding, language. It is also the land in between rivers, so walking from the Tyburn across to the Westbourne. What does this tell us about the structure of the way the city has been created? What does it tell us about he very primal use of land.


Re-creation / recreation

The hedgerows followed the rivers, early roads followed the hedges, lowlands in the East were poor areas due to them being damp, a cause of illnesses and early deaths, less associated with the wealthy, hilly north.

The paradox of how polluted they became, yet people have a draw towards the waters. Their reappearance through heavy rainfall and mismanagement – not a Ballardian cataclysmic ending, more of how a contemporary reaction to climate change and new understanding of flooding in the cityscapes will lead to the uncovering and indeed rehabilitation of many of London’s waterways. A new kind of control.