Durham City Riverbanks

ClientDurham County Council


Project TypePlacemaking

CompletionJuly 2022



Ryder sought to capitalise on the untapped potential of the Durham Riverbanks to increase accessibility and visibility, and enhance the setting to enable visitors to connect to nature within an urban city – a unique experience which will help to promote Durham as a green and compact city.

Durham’s riverbanks have the potential to become a rich natural and historic resource valued by everyone who lives, works, studies in and visits Durham. Currently, however, the Riverbanks face challenges including accessibility, connectivity and wayfinding, derelict heritage assets, and ownership and maintenance.

As part of the design development, Ryder undertook a heritage analysis of the Riverbanks study area to understand constraints and opportunities

One aspect of this was to bring out some of the lesser known stories relating to the history of the area through discovery trails using wayfinding, artwork, and heritage interpretation.

Throughout the process we engaged with Durham County Council officers including planning, conservation, ecology and transport, as well as landowners including Durham University and Cathedral.