The promenade that lines this eastern precinct of Southbank (by architects Denton Corker Marshall) is a robust bluestone water's edge which provides paths on two levels - a lower level to give access to the water and an upper level for the main development protected from floods. This is also a fine design that provides generous public spaces on both levels. However, the design was compromised to some degree by being subject to the whims of the developers for the first of the private projects known as Riverside Quay, which formed the western section of this precinct.2

Riverside Quay Riverside Quay was initially conceived as a cluster of buildings organised around a cul-de-sac canal cutting about 100 metres into the site to produce additional water frontage (Figure 3.1). We see here the seeds of a problem that will become all too common: after having ignored the riverfront for nearly a century, the first impulse was to try to manufacture more of it. This plan, based on global formulae for canal developments, was later reduced to a water feature and finally abandoned. The mindset of the development industry was that precinct sizes must be large enough to control the urban design and then draw that waterfront amenity back into the site. The opportunity that was missed here was to slice the site into a larger number of parcels and to form a stronger urban wall; this would in turn reinforce the river's edge with a greater diversity of architectural expression. While the developers had