Back to the River Competition Launches

Mayor Matt Brown at the Thames River by Ashton Patis, Blackburn News

On Tuesday morning, London Mayor Matt Brown and other officials put out a call to designers to submit their ideas for revitalizing the Thames River area.

Back to the River is the name of the competition. The London Community Foundation is spearheading the search for great ideas to beautify the waterfront and make it a gathering place for Londoners, along with City Hall and The Upper Thames River Conservation Authority. They are looking for concepts to implement at the Forks of the Thames and in Soho. Finalists will be chosen in late June, each winning $40,000. Then the creator of the final concept for the Forks will receive a $200,000 contract to bring their vision to life.

Brown hopes for widespread community involvement as the ideas come in.

Final plans will be chosen by a jury that includes former London Mayor Joni Baechler and Don Pearson, GM of the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority. Mayor Brown says he’d like to see a place where families can canoe or kayak.

“I’m also envisioning people being able to come down in the early morning or evening and go for a walk along the banks of the Thames. Perhaps have a cup of coffee in the morning, or a glass of wine in the evening and watch the sunset.”

*with files from Ashton Patis