All over the world major cities are digging up and renovating old lost waterways as they discover floating in the city is the way to go. The New York Times published an interesting feature about this recently; Peeling Back Pavement to Expose Watery Havens, which describes how "Cities from Singapore to San Antonio have been resuscitating rivers and turning storm drains into streams". Here in London the Thames Barrier is obviously not going to hold out against the rising waters forever. At some point London is going to have to let in the waters and go back to being a series of islands like it used to be. I can't wait! The obvious first step is to bring back the Fleet River from it's solitary confinement under ground. London Mayor Boris Johnson has supported the idea but some boring people say it is impossible. Obviously they are wrong.
Above: A picture of the Fleet River or rather the Fleet Sewer it is today from a great collection of photographs by Steve Duncan from www.undercity.org. More great Fleet Sewer photographs by stoop here and there are some more at Silent Uk.
Above: Where the Fleet River joined the Thames in 1750, large ships went as far as Kings Cross. The source was in Hampstead.
Above: Where the Fleet Sewer empties into the Thames today (picture from Wikipedia). According to Wikipedia the Fleet River can still be heard "through a grating in Ray Street, Farringdon (EC1) in front of the Coach and Horses pub."
• Fleet River Walk: Youtube video by squareyes of overground walk along course of the Fleet River from Kings Cross to BlackFriars.
• The Fleet River was once called the 'River of Wells'. Believe it or not, in the middle Ages London was more famous than Lourdes for the healing qualities of it's many natural springs, especially the 'Healing Springs of Islington'. The broken, but still beautiful Victorian drinking well at St Pancras Church, near Kings Cross, marks the site of one of the most famous.