The Thames Gateway plan is the largest and most complex project of urban regeneration ever undertaken in the United Kingdom. Not since the Great Fire of London will the capital city have been subject to such an enormous and concentrated process of change as what is currently being proposed: the building of affordable homes for half a million people on a flood plain, the construction of a new transport network to attract investment from across Europe and around the world, the creation of a whole new apparatus of governance to regulate London's historic Eastwards expansion, and the attempt to create a sustainable green environment out of some of the most polluted brownfield sites in the country. And, over and above all this, the location of London's 2012 Olympics.All this is being proposed against the background of widespread public sceptism about master plans and grand projects, coupled with concerns about the impact of global warming on London's flood protection systems and the fear that market led construction of mass housing will lead to Los Angeles style urban sprawl.This book provides a comprehensive overview and critique of the Thames Gateway plan, but at the same time, it uses the plan as a lens through which to look at a series of important questions of social theory, urban policy and governmental practice. It examines the impact of urban planning and demographic change on East London's material and social environment, including new forms of ethnic gentrification, the development of the eastern hinterlands, shifting patterns of migration between city and country, the role of new policies in regulating housing provision and the attempt to create new cultural hubs downriver. It also looks at issues of governance and accountability, the tension between public and private interests, and the immediate and longer term prospects for the Thames Gateway project both in relation to the 'Olympics effect' and the growth of new forms of regionalism.