How the arts can regenerate urban areas

12th November 2014

A rundown area of London’s Docklands has been transformed into a thriving creative hub for the arts. John Burton explains how.


I’ve been working with Urban Space Management for 20 years, collaborating on all kinds of regeneration initiatives. We worked on Camden Lock Market, created Merton Abbey Mills in Wimbledon and designed Gabriel’s’ Wharf in what was then a very quiet South Bank. In the recession of the 90s we took on the Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre (and painted it pink) along with Spitalfields Market which we ran for 8 glorious years, making something very special out of what was then an edgy location.

Now we’re concentrating on Trinity Buoy Wharf in London’s Docklands. Our goal was to take this redundant site and turn it into a centre for the arts and creative activity. We’re not allowed to build houses or hotels here, ensuring we stick to the original aims of the project.

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