Yes, the German approach to post-industrial landscapes is enlightening and there is much we have learned. However, to say we are unable to 'grapple even with such a self-evident reality as the existence of the River Thames' and that 'the regeneration of the Thames Gateway is dependent on purging the evidence of its own industrial past' is wrong (AJ 27.10.05).
We, with our clients and stakeholders, are preparing a series of environmental infrastructure plans for the Thames Gateway. These take forward the government's intentions to recognise, protect and enhance the natural and historic heritage of the area and allow it to be regarded as the functional green infrastructure needed to create a positive sense of place and enhance quality of life for local communities.
They do, as you suggest, 'establish a structure that provides a coherent vision but allows individual initiatives to thrive'.
Where you are right is that it needs powerful leadership.
John Hopkins LDA Design