The Liquid Commute: Swim Your Way to Work

By AQUA Editors, January 24, 2013 9:30 AM

photo of swimming commute

Unusual though it may sound, the city of London is considering a proposal that would turn the 8.6-mile Regents Canal into a swimming lane, allowing Londoners to swim to work. In the winter, the designers imagine ice-skating.

The proposal is one of several being considered as part of a competition staged by the city’s mayor and London’s Landscape Museum. The contest is inspired by the New York City’s High Line facility, where an historic but antiquated facility on Manhattan’s west side scheduled for demolition was instead transformed into a public park in 1999 and now serves as a hub for recreational activity.

photo of swimming commuteLondon is similarly looking for way to turn some of its industrial artifacts into useable public facilities. In this case, the Regent Canal, which was built more than 200 years ago for the purpose of transporting materials throughout the city’s then-burgeoning industrial district, would become an aquatic thoroughfare where residents would swim from place to place, presumably as new type of commuter lane.

The design, dubbed The Lido Line, was submitted by Y/N Studios and is the brainchild of principle designers Alex Smith and David Lomax. The concept calls for a canal water to be filtered and sanitized via a multilayered permeable membrane and the canal itself to be refitted with a systems of docks, public walkways and an amphitheater.

“The city’s canals have lost their original purpose,” the duo explains. “The Lido Line flips Regent’s Canal back to its original purpose: connecting raw materials (workers) to the place of production (work).”

For more information on this proposal or Y/N Studios check them out online at



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2 responses »

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