The Low Line
The Low Line, evoking Manhattan’s High Line, focuses on the rail arches that have been part of Bankside for over 150 years. A project conceived by a local resident, it aims to transform the public realm by opening up the mostly car-free walkway that runs along the base of the Victorian viaducts.
At the heart of the project is the regeneration of the area, unlocking the economic potential of the railway arches as flourishing business spaces that support a mix of small and medium size businesses in the heart of Bankside.
Over the decades, the Low Line route has become blocked through the planned and unplanned development of walls, fences and buildings. The Low Line project sets out to restore this important link across Bankside by encouraging commercial development including retail, culture, and food and drink opportunities, helping to open new connections along the route and reinforce Bankside’s unique and special character. The bespoke signage and wayfinding markers are used to navigate pedestrians along the Low-Line whilst celebrating its special character and providing information about the area's heritage. These unique storytelling signs were developed by design company Polimekanos.
Both the recently launched Union Yard Arches and Flat Iron Square projects continue the long tradition of Bankside as a cultural destination in the capital. It will open up pedestrian footfall along previously inaccessible stretches of the neighbourhood, it will give small, independent businesses the opportunity to thrive in a burgeoning neighbourhood, and cement the area as a cultural hub in south London.
Coordinated by Better Bankside, the Low Line brings together a range of stakeholders including Network Rail, Southwark Council and the Bankside Neighbourhood Forum, and is embedded in emerging planning policy in Southwark.
View our entry to Designing the Urban Commons 2015 Low Line - Designing the Urban Commons