At the end of last year, new and revitalised city parks emerged as some of the UK’s best new open spaces, with urban park designs winning five awards at the annual Landscape Institute Awards.
City parks up and down the country were recognised, from Eastside City Park in Birmingham, to Bradford City Park, to London’s Burgess Park, and Brockwell Park, and Croydon’s historic Wandle Park.
In the Landscape Policy and Research category, State of UK Public Parks 2014, by Peter Neal and a team including TPA Establishing board member Ben Hurley, was highly commended by the judges, who said ‘We were impressed by the clarity of the material presented and its accessibility to a wide audience’. The purpose of the study is to provide a clear evidence base to influence national and local policy on the importance of investing in public parks and urban green spaces.
Noel Farrer, President of the Landscape Institute, said “The strength and high quality of the schemes… demonstrate the value parklands and green spaces bring to our towns and cities, ensuring they are greener and more liveable places for all. There is a demonstrable increased public appetite for urban parks.”
Birmingham’s Eastside City Park transformed a semi-derelict area into a bustling park, and Bradford City Park reanimated a previously incoherent space to create a meeting place for the city.
In London, Burgess Park introduced a five kilometre running route and a 3,000 metre squared children’s play area, and Brockwell Park, a neglected Victorian space, was restored to its former glory. In Croydon, the restoration of the historic Wandle Park responded to flood risk created by rapid urbanisation locally.
The Tumbling Bay Playground for children in Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth II Park, east London, also won an award.
Urban parks took five awards from the total of 16 accolades at the Landscape Institute Awards, emphasising the growing value of quality public space in the UK’s towns and cities.
The Landscape Institute is the royal chartered body for landscape architects. The Landscape Institute Awards are presented annually to encourage and recognise outstanding examples of work by the landscape profession. A full list of Award case studies is on theLandscape Institute’s Awards page.