Waterways were once the beating hearts of our cities.
They bore the boats laden with the goods, tradesmen and settlers that transformed inlets and backwaters into hubs of humanity.
However, all that changed 200 years ago with the advent of the industrial revolution: as cities became crowded, rivers were polluted with human and industrial waste, becoming sources of disease; at the same time the development of the railways meant waterways were no longer the essential mode of transport they once were.
The result was that all across the world cities covered over their rivers, forcing them into culverts or tunnels below the metropolis.
Today, waterways across the world are fighting back.
In a trend known as “daylighting”, towns in Europe, Asia, North America and Australasia are breaking open culverts to reveal the hidden rivers that have always been at their heart.
The two most active cities by far have been London and Zurich. As a result, despite being famous for the River Thames, dozens of London’s rivers were covered over or converted into sewers […]