When in London, I find I’m drawn to the Thames. It’s a big river, and one that is inextricably tied to the history and heart of the city through which it flows. Unlike many of the Thames’s smaller tributaries, which were abused, then buried, and are now nearly forgotten, the Thames is big, brawny, and impossible to ignore. It carries the story of the city’s past and it is the pathway by which future sea level rise and storm surges might strike. Today, the Thames in London is crossed by bridges both towering and low, and is plied by tourist cruises and working tugs. It flows past shiny modern glass office blocks and pubs and parliament buildings hundreds of years old. But the flowing water takes the juxtaposition of built and natural, past and future and compellingly integrates them.
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