Cyclist in Thames Barrier park with text on ground reading 'please keep four gulls apart'

Community news

Join our community working group and shape the Royal Docks public spaces

Our local communities will always be the experts when it comes to transforming the Royal Docks. But if you want to play a more active part, this is your moment: we are launching the Public Spaces Community Working Group.

We want to hear from people living within a mile of the Royal Docks Enterprise Zone, or who work or study within it, who would like to play a more active role in shaping the future of the area. This will be a diverse group of 15 local people who can advise on public space projects – that’s everything from streets and squares to seating and signage – to ensure they meet communities’ needs and aspirations.

If you have experience working on public realm or urban design projects that’s great, but equally, no previous experience is required. We want to make sure every voice is included when we plan out public space, from people with disabilities to the needs of small children. A lot of people who live or work around the Royal Docks are community leaders without realising it. Maybe you are in a running club, a parenting WhatsApp group, a gardening club, a mahjong team, or a five-a-side league? If that is you, we’d love it if you joined us.

Maybe you are in a running club, a parenting WhatsApp group, a gardening club, a mahjong team, or a five-a-side league? If that is you, we’d love it if you joined us.
Group laughing outside with clipboards

Community walking workshop

Last year’s art walk took a creative approach to thinking about public spaces. Photos: Tian Khee Siong.

The group will advise the Royal Docks Team and act as a sounding board for projects and ideas on public space. To give you a flavour, public space plans so far include the floating gardens, tree planting, upgrades to Connaught Crossing, a new look for Thames Barrier Park, and strategies for making better use of our amazing water.

We’re excited about this next step in the ongoing journey of community involvement in shaping the Royal Docks. You already played an active role when we created our Public Realm Design Guides, which resulted in our future-focused Community Design Principles – these will make sure public spaces in the Royal Docks fly the flag on being inclusive, ecological, creative, useful, and exciting to be in, while also bringing the area’s rich history to life.

The Public Spaces Community Working Group will be a hands-on way to put our ideas and plans into action. It will also be a space to meet new people and build networks, learn more about public space projects, and develop skills. We are excited to bring people together from different areas across the Royal Docks, representing different social groups and life experiences – and pool our resources to champion the potential of the Royal Docks.

Group annotating a drawing of the Royal Docks Group outside looking at clipboards

Community walking workshop

Introducing a new platform for participation

The Public Spaces Community Working Group will be using Newham Co-Create, a citizen engagement platform established by Newham Council in 2020. We will be using this website to talk to people across the area about projects, exchange ideas and hold discussions. This will make it easier for you to keep track of everything that’s happening in the Royal Docks, as the timelines and key information for each project will all be in one place. We aim to create more participation groups related to our cultural programming in the future – keep an eye out.

The first meeting of the Public Spaces Community Working Group will take place in mid March, and we are likely to meet about once every two months. We would prefer if you could commit to joining most months, although there will be plenty of flexibility. We look forward to discussing your ideas and working together to make great places in the Royal Docks.

To register your interest, head over to our page on Newham Co-Create, where we will ask you a little about yourself and why you’d like to be involved. If you have questions, please feel free to email us.

Man cycling past words that say "please keep 3 barrels apart"

Thames Barrier Park

Playful signage encourages visitors to keep a social distance. Photos: Luke O’Donovan.