From Wasteland to Playground:Lee Valley Regional Park is marking its 50th anniversary this year

New London Architecture
From Wasteland to Playground: Lee Valley Regional Park at 50
New London Architecture
The Building Centre
26 Store Street

Monday, 03 July 2017 to Thursday, 27 July 2017
Monday to Friday, 9.00am - 6.00pm and Saturday, 10.00am - 5.00pm

New Exhibition marks Lee Valley Regional Park's 50th anniversary


From Wasteland to Playground: Lee Valley Regional Park at 50 is a new temporary exhibition charting the transformation of a neglected, polluted and abandoned industrial corridor into one of the UK's premier sport, leisure and nature destination which now attracts seven million visits a year.  

The exhibition runs until 27 July at New London Architecture, 28 Store Street, London WC1 7BT (nearest Tube: Goodge Street and Tottenham Court Road)

Fifty years ago the Lee Valley was bleak and neglected.

Decades of heavy industry, gravel extraction and World War Two bombing had left much of the valley derelict, unloved and abandoned, while other sections were still essentially rural. The Lower Lee Valley was London’s “well, its privy and its workshop… treated as everyone’s backyard.”

The desolation was so serious that Parliament created Lee Valley Regional Park Authority in 1967 to transform the valley and develop Britain’s first Regional Park.

Thanks to the work of the Authority and its partners over five decades, this former industrial landscape is unrecognisable.

Lee Valley Regional Park now attracts more than seven million visits a year. It is a unique visitor destination – a tapestry of world-class open spaces, wildlife habitats, riverside trails, gardens, campsites and marinas alongside award winning sports venues. Among the latter are three London 2012 venues that the Authority owns, now playing a crucial role in delivering a legacy from the Olympic Games.

This exhibition tracks the evolution of this 26 mile long “green wedge” which follows the path of the River Lee from Ware in Hertfordshire to the Thames.

It is based on a new book From Wasteland to Playground: Lee Valley Regional Park at 50 by Professor Tony Travers, director of the Institute of Public Affairs at the London School of Economics and co-director of LSE London. Professor Travers is the author of a number of books about London government including The Politics of London: Governing the Ungovernable City and London’s Boroughs at 50.


Getting here

By Train: The Building Centre is within walking distance of several mainline railway stations. Euston (15 mins), King's Cross / St Pancras (25 mins), Charing Cross (23 mins)

Nearest underground stations are Goodge Street (Northern Line) Tottenham Court Road (Northern and Central* Lines), Euston Square (Circle, District and Metropolitan Lines), Russell Square (Piccadilly Line) and Warren Street (Victoria Line)

By Road

Store Street is a one-way street accessed from Tottenham Court Road - itself a one-way street running south to north. Visitors can be dropped off at the front door of The Building Centre and limited metered street parking is available in adjacent streets with several NCP car parks nearby.

Store Street is in a Congestion Charge Zone


No need to book, just simply turn up!


Plan your adventure

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