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This Swimming Pool Is So Natural, It’s Carved Out Of London’s River Thames

Swimming pools in polluted urban rivers–it’s definitely becoming a trend. It helps that the view’s not bad.

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Swimming in the River Thames wouldn’t normally be a good idea–it’s too dirty and cold. But if the water was extensively filtered and warmed to a swimming pool-like temperature? Then it might be one of nicest things imaginable. You could look out at the skyline as you did your breaststroke.

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The Thames Baths Lido is a proposed project to achieve just that and it recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the necessary planning funds. It’s looking for $186,085 to get it kicked off, though it would be a small drop in the bucket compared to the eventual projected cost of about $17.25 million.

Set to be located on the north side of the river, near the Embankment, the baths would consist of two pools: one “Olympic-sized” 25-meter pool and a less formal training pool. The water inside would rise and fall with the tide, and would be filtered using reed beds and a manmade system underneath. “This water meets the highest international bathing water standards, all without the use of chemicals,” say the people behind the project.

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The pool is planned as a nonprofit making social enterprise, with prices low enough for rich and poor alike. Meanwhile, a group in New York City has plans for a similar concept–the +Pool–while several other cities, including Berlin, have their own pool proposals. Dreams of one day swimming in big city rivers is a definite trend.

About the author

Ben Schiller is a New York staff writer for Fast Company. Previously, he edited a European management magazine and was a reporter in San Francisco, Prague, and Brussels.

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