For want of a landscape architect London’s Garden Bridge was lost


For the want of a nail the shoe was lost,
For the want of a shoe the horse was lost,
For the want of a horse the rider was lost,
For the want of a rider the battle was lost,
For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost,
And all for the want of a horseshoe-nail.

Remembering Benjamin Franklin’s version of an old proverb, I invite landscape architects to write a new version. For the penultimate line I suggest:
For want of a landscape architect a Garden Bridge was lost.
As discussed two years ago, the problem was that the Garden Bridge was in the wrong place.

  • It should have linked a pedestrian origin to a pedestrian destination
  • It should have linked a cyclist origin to a cyclist destination
  • It should not have been located in a section of the Thames with Very High Scenic Quality
  • The designer’s perspectives should not have ‘cheated’ by representing the scheme with birds-eye views. It should have been done with eye-level views from Waterloo Bridge

That said, I am sorry to see the Garden Bridge pass into the history books as a failed project. The Garden Bridge Trust and its designers showed real imagination, talent and drive. They just needed the help of an urban landscape designer.

Tom Turner

Posted in urban design

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