World's Greatest Places 2021
Design District, pictured mid-construction in May 2021.
Courtesy Taran Wilkhu
July 20, 2021 6:33 AM EDT

On the south side of the River Thames lies the Royal Borough of Greenwich, a buzzy neighborhood known for its maritime history and for being the home of the prime meridian, from which the world’s time zones are measured. It’s also home to the brand-new Design District, a car-free area comprising 16 buildings intended to provide an affordable home for creatives. For the first 12 months of its operation, creators can rent a desk, a floor or an entire building for just £5 ($7) per sq. ft. The area is gearing up after 16 months of lockdowns and restrictions in the U.K. to welcome visitors once more with the plan to host the Greenwich+Docklands International Festival, which will showcase climate-­related art ­installations—including artist Dan Acher’s We Are Watching, a 10-story-high flag featuring an image of a giant eye—ahead of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in November. In early 2022, the charity Queercircle will open the U.K.’s only permanent art space dedicated to LGBTQ+ artists, in the Design District. —Suyin Haynes

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