A Visionary Brief in the Thames Gateway has redefined
what is meant by ‘culturally-led regeneration’.
It is a major programme of new thinking about Thurrock and
the Thames Gateway, bringing an international perspective
to local, regional and national policy debates around cultural
practice in regeneration.
The programme has set out an innovative process for planning
and development in the Thames Gateway. It has demonstrated
that if culture is interpreted
widely, if regeneration is addressed
holistically and if a creative
process is embedded in planning and decision-making, then
it is possible to create truly sustainable communities.
Underpinning the programme is a celebration of the strong
local character and values of the area, as well as an emphasis
on the importance of quality and innovation, local participation,
strong leadership and cross-sector working.
The programme consists of two phases of
research and creative thinking :
Phase 1: Mapping
of maps has been produced to uncover what Thurrock is - its
existing activities, landscapes, communities and history.
essays by the environmentalist Chris Baines and the writer
Ken Worpole were commissioned and three
artists were asked to respond to specific sites and issues
to open up the debate. Additionally, eight international
case studies have been showcased to demonstrate a range
of exemplary projects and methodologies that are relevant
to the future of the Thames Gateway.
Phase 2: Charrettes
Three intensive multi-disciplinary workshops (charrettes)
focused on creative responses to the regeneration of Thurrock.
These involved leading international architects, artists,
environmentalists, writers and experts in community engagement.
The participants were advised by stakeholders and residents
who provided an insight into local perceptions and values.
The groups examined three areas of particular importance to
1. The Thames
2. The Greenbelt
The workshops took place on the 24th, 25th and 26th May 2004.
The programme has resulted in
principles, ideas and visionary briefs to inform the forthcoming
regeneration of Thurrock. Change on this scale involves many
agencies and must also work with existing initiatives. These
briefs and proposals will inform the future frameworks developed
by the cross-agency client partnerships.
The initial outcomes were presented to government ministers,
local and national agencies, local decision-makers, stakeholders
and representatives from the private sector at a presentation
on 30th June 2004 in the Cruise Terminal Building in Tilbury
Port. A second presentation was made at the Government’s
Sustainable Communities Summit in February 2005.
View the project
Download a leaflet about
the programme and its outcomes
Thurrock: A Visionary
Brief in the Thames Gateway is produced by General
Public Agency on behalf of the following partners: Thurrock
Council, Arts Council England East, Commission for Architecture
and the Built Environment, The Countryside Agency, East of
England Development Agency, Essex County Council, Government
Office for the East of England, Heritage Lottery Fund, Living
East, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Sport England East, Thames
Gateway South Essex.