London to have a garden bridge

Posted Dec 19, 2014 by Tim Sandle
The Mayor of London has announced plans to build a new bridge across the river Thames. This one has a unique aspect: it is to be a garden bridge.
The Shard casts along shadow  clearly visible over the river Thames in this image.
The Shard casts along shadow, clearly visible over the river Thames in this image.
A garden bridge is an interesting idea but can the idea turn into reality? Rather than being Mayor Boris Johnson's many gaffs the concept is a serious one.
The plan is to construct a £175 million ($274 million) footbridge to link two regions in London: Temple (on the north side) with the Southbank. The "Garden Bridge" will be 1,214 feet-long (370 meters) long. The bridge will have copper fixtures and it will be covered with trees and plants, according to The Guardian.
The idea for the bridge was apparently that of actor Joanna Lumley. The designer for the scheme is Thomas Heatherwick, who was heavily involved with many of the designs at the London 2012 Olympics. The design is at an advanced stage and the construction could begin early in 2015.
Conservative Party Mayor Johnson told the BBC: "The garden bridge will provide a fantastic new landmark for London whilst supporting regeneration and economic growth on both sides of the Thames.It will create a stunning oasis of tranquillity in the heart of our city and boost our plans to encourage walking in the city."
The idea is not popular with everyone and it has been criticized over its location and cost. The opposition Labour Party, for example, have questioned the spend. The funding for the project is being drawn from London's transport fund. However, the new bridge will only be designed for people on foot.
Business groups also oppose the development, arguing that the location is not of strategic importance for either tourists or commerce.