Earlier Landscape Interface Studio, Kingston University organised an interdisciplinary graduate and practitioner ‘Cities Alive Workshop’ in collaboration with Arup’s Landscape Architecture team. Students were asked to explore green infrastructure solutions to help resolve contemporary urban issues particularly focused on the Oxford Street/Tottenham Court Rd area of London’s West End. Issues considered included: air pollution, movement and connectivity, increased footfall as a result of CrossRail, traffic and pedestrian congestion, climate change adaptation, air quality, waste management, traffic safety, increasing biodiversity, maximizing underused spaces and the design and provision of attractive public spaces.
Proposed Alfred Place Park, off Tottenham Court Road. Image: DSDHA
It has now been announced that Camden Council is to receive £6.7 million from Transport for London, whose plans include the transformation of Alfred Place in Fitzrovia, off Tottenham Court Rd in central London, into an inner city park and green space. This is amongst the projects intended to make London’s boroughs greener, healthier and safer and will be the first new park in central London in 100 years. This forms part of a funding package announced by Transport for London were £220 million will be distributed to town halls across the capital to pay for improvements to local transport, town centres and public spaces. .
Development of the Alfred Road Park forms part of Camden Council’s West End Project with the ambition of transforming the Tottenham Court Road area, making it safer and more attractive for residents, boosting business and creating new public spaces. It is hoped that by boosting green infrastructure provision in the heart of London’s West End this will help to offset the negative environmental side effects of the big increase in people coming to the area with the opening of the Tottenham Court Road Crossrail station in December 2018.
The scheme includes the existing one-way system to be replaced with two-way tree lined streets, some protected cycle lanes and new public spaces all aimed at reducing congestion and pollution, will widen pavements and make journeys quicker. By developing Alfred Place Park, Camden Council aim to provide a park for the community which will improve the quality of life for residents, workers and visitors. Planting more trees would improve air quality and introducing more green infrastructure will also contribute to Sustainable Urban Drainage. The Council acknowledge that here is a lack of green and open space in the area and a strong desire from residents to have a park.
Project proposals have been developed for Camden Council by DSDHA including a team of landscape designers, traffic engineers and lighting specialists – describing the project as a , “hugely significant project” that, “completes the final part of a giant jigsaw to the rejuvenate the West End.”
“A legacy of post war planning that prioritised the car, the currently the area suffers from traffic congestions that creates delays and poor air quality. The one-way streets on Tottenham Court Road and Gower Street confuses bus passengers as they cannot arrive and leave from the same station. The lack of pedestrian crossing and cycle routes also causes accidents and casualties. The narrow and cluttered pavements on Tottenham Court Road provides a poor pedestrian experience, with a significant lack of public spaces to enjoy the area.As part of the £26m plan, our strategy removes the one-way system to slow the pace of vehicles through this area and make space for much-needed high quality public amenity, which accommodates pedestrians and cyclists. This redesign incorporates five new public spaces, including Whitfield Gardens, Princes Circus, a new pedestrianised plaza at the foot of Centre Point, and a new park in Alfred Place – the first green space in the West End for over 100 years.”Source: http://www.dsdha.co.uk