MAPPING THE 'BACKYARD' OF EAST LONDON
by Emanuele De Angelis
The Lower Lea Valley with the River Lea at its centre has always been a rich land of controversy and opportunities, from marshland to industrial and leisure activities. One of the main driving factors that changed the area was the Olympic Games in 2012 that brought the area to a massive regeneration. A horizontal line cut the two maps in the same place in an attempt to associate the spatial end of the legacy of the Olympics with the flooded nature of the river and the wilder aspect of the southern part of the Lea Valley. While man-made intervention culverted the stream of the northern part of the river with the implementation of grey and soft infrastructures, the lowest Lea Valley has yet geographically and socioeconomically considered the Backyard of 3 East London's Boroughs: Hackney, Newham and Tower Hamlets. Taking into consideration challenges within the area, from a large real estate pressure to the importance of green space in a post-Covid 19 era, can the ‘Backyard’ be translated into the centrality of London?