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London's Wild Garden Bridge is One Step Closer to Taking Root

A fungal-chic proposal for a garden bridge spanning the River Thames has vaulted a major planning hurdle, after receiving approval from London's Lambeth Council, one of two committees needed to pass on the project. Dezeen reports that Thomas Heatherwick, the green-thumbed designer catapulted to fame after creating London's 2102 Olympic cauldron, who once described this development as a kind of "guerrilla gardening," called the news "fantastic." Many in London are not so jazzed about the £175M ($277M) project.

"The more you look at the proposed Garden bridge over the Thames, the less sense it makes," wrote Observer columnist Rowan Moore in September, echoing previous claims that the bridge is nothing more than a vanity project, the latest revival of actress and campaigner Joanna Lumley's nearly two-decade-old push to get a memorial bridge built on the Thames. Critics also argue that this bridge park, like all proposed bridge parks (including D.C.'s) comes from an ill-advised desire to create something on par with New York's High Line, and that other areas of London would be better served by new green spaces, and that there are parts of the Thames with a much greater need to be crossed by foot traffic than this particular stretch, between South Bank and Covent Garden.

"It feels like we're trying to pull off a big crime," Heatherwick once said of his "two big planters." Recently, the designer created a Wonka-esque distillery and unveiled plans for an art museum carved in an old silo. A petition opposing the bridge has attracted almost 800 signatures.

· Heatherwick's Garden Bridge soars over first planning hurdle [Dezeen]