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Architecture & Water: Part 2 - Gentrification machine?

The second chapter in a three-part documentary about water’s relationship with the built environment. Are London waterways a force that will unlock an increasingly unaffordable city or one that will fuel a trend of gentrification and displacement?

Architecture & Water documentary. Part 2: Gentrification machine?

How is the relationship between architecture and water affecting both city and society? The AR’s new series of three short documentaries explore the connections between London and its waterways with leading architects, urbanists, developers, thinkers and activists. As climate change drives increasingly extreme weather conditions and water levels continue to rise, Part 1 examines the river’s role within the larger infrastructure network and points to the transformation of former industrial sites into complex productive landscapes. As cities become ever denser and housing supplies fail to keep pace with demand, Part 2 considers the effects of waterfront living on gentrification, property ownership and access to the river. As current urban projects reduce the Thames to a source of spectacle, Part 3 contemplates how the river could become a generator of radical new public spaces and foster a more meaningful relationship with the citizen. Traveling across London on a narrowboat, the AR’s Critic-at-Large Ellis Woodman seeks to unlock the full potential of the city’s waters.

The Old Royal Naval College is hosting a series of debates on the connection between water and architecture which accompanies this documentary. There are three debates each exploring a different aspect of architecture’s connection to the river.

Living on the River, 23rd Octoboer, 18:30 - 20:00
Chaired by Phineas Harper, The Architectural Review

Building by the River, 21st November, 18.30 - 20.00
Chaired by Rowan Moore, The Observer

Working on the River, 19th December, 18.30 - 20.00
Chaired by Ellis Woodman, The Architectural Review

To book tickets and find out more about this series of debate visit the Old Royal Naval College Website:


A co-production of The Architectural Review and the Old Royal Naval College

Presenter: Ellis Woodman
Director: Phineas Harper
Production Co-ordinator: Manon Mollard
Location Assistant: Ben Chernett
Music: ‘Spiders’ by Buffalo Ink (

Special thanks:
Lesley Booth
William Palin
Peter Beard_LANDROOM
Cityscape 3D
Joel Blackledge

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