The Royal Docks were once our gateway to the world. Built between the 1850s and 1920s, they fuelled our international trade and brought wealth, people and produce from around the world into the country. As ships grew, much of this ocean-going trade moved to docks furtherEast along the Thames, and air travel developed to the West at Heathrow. Whilst much of the transport infrastructure might have moved, what remains is an incredible legacy of industrial architecture and enormous opportunities for the architects of today to reflect on our past identity as they shape vast new parts of the city.
The 2023 theme of ‘In Common’ is a fantastic opportunity to explore the many public spaces across the Royal Docks and to encourage people living, working and visiting the Docks to come together to enjoy, celebrate and take ownership of them. ‘In Common’ has many interpretations, and we would welcome projects that respond in different and creative ways.It also has a strong resonance with the Royal Docks Team’s summer programme which has the theme of ‘Sustainability’.We need to work collectively to find solutions to climate change-a crisis we are facing ‘in common’ with each other.