Xavier Smales: Thameside West masterplan


A truly sustainable neighbourhood masterplan

Silvertown, London Borough of Newham

To transform a 16Ha former industrial site on the edge of the River Thames into a thriving mixed-use neighbourhood that regenerates the natural world and evolves the social, cultural and psychological health of the city.

While enablers of the built environment appear to champion sustainability, most major developments undermine any prospect of mitigating the environmental crisis. If we are truly to take sustainability seriously, we must use the neighbourhood as grounding, as all human life starts here. 

Specific criteria that define the deeper purpose of a place in a precise context explore a masterplan for ‘Thameside West’ in Newham. The project is an alternative design for the site to the existing proposal by Foster + Partners and is followed by a detailed study of neighbourhoods within the plan.

The project will be a model for dense, humane development that minimises environmental impact. The matrix developed will be a way of assessing the holistic sustainability of future masterplans.