The sixty miles of canals that zigzag through London are a largely neglected and often overlooked aspect of the city. Flanked with rusting reminders of the industries they once supported (and their bland contemporary counterparts) London’s canals are rarely alluring in any conventional sense of the word. Redevelopment and decay appear in equal measure along their banks, provoking a strong feeling of desolation and alienation.
As the motorways of their time, the canal system was established as a cost effective means of transporting goods from manufacturer or grower to market. Since their construction nearly two hundred years ago, they have been superseded twice – initially by the railway network and more recently by road transportation. Across the country the demise of the working canal system led to gentrification as recreation replaced labour. In London this transition is less evident and the canal’s recent history is one of abandonment and underinvestment, of land sales and corporate redevelopment.
This project documents the legacy of neglect and the recent surge of redevelopment by exploring the landscape, architecture and infrastructure along the London canal network.View Gallery