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London's first new riverside park for a century has started to take shape in the shadow of the Thames Barrier in London's Royal Docks. The 9ha landscaping on what was once heavily contaminated land was designed for client English Partnerships by Groupe Signes with Ove Arup and Patel Taylor and features a 'green dock' sunken garden as a reminder of the area's past. 'We developed the park as a catalyst for regeneration,' said EP senior project manager Sue Kershaw. 'We are expecting up to £1bn of investment in the Royals in the next four years, which we believe is the largest urban renewal scheme currently under way in Europe.' Major infrastructure work is mostly complete. Final piece in the jigsaw of roads, sewerage and railways is an £85M extension of the Docklands Light Railway to City Airport for which a Transport & Works Order is due in on Tuesday. Key development is the 65,000m2, £250M ExCel conference and exhibition centre, engineered by Buro Happold with architecture by Moxley Architects, which is being constructed by Sir Robert McAlpine. 'It should create 12,000 jobs for the area,' said Kershaw.

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