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The lockdown has shown us all the value of the capital's green spaces, and it has thrown a spotlight on the London Society's campaign to make our public spaces better able to deal with 21st century pressures.

In short: what are our parks for? Are they for pop concerts? Are they for dog walkers? For fitness classes? Pedestrians, cars, cyclists? What should be their role in creating a more sustainable city?

We want you to tell us what you think.

Are our parks fit for purpose in the 21st century? Regent’s Park, for example, is a rat run, a cycle training circuit, a jogging track; it has a theatre, rose gardens, a zoo as well as nurseries and admin space a big park needs. How can all these conflicting users fit into the 19th century concept of what a park is - does something need to give and what needs to change? As London becomes more dense and the provision of green space more critical, how do we deal with the increasing pressures? In a period of cost-cutting, how do parks include essential income-generating events without annoying regular visitors? 

We're asking you to rethink the idea of a park, its layout, its facilities and its priority users and give us your thoughts. London’s large parks are seen as part of the road system - does that need to change? Major events need serious design input not to be just plonked in the easiest site available; do we need to design permanent buildings to cope with the increasing number of events to make better use of valuable open space?

Let us have your ideas. 

What would you like in London’s parks - something as bold and exciting as the Crystal Palace of 1851? Zip wires, rope walks and cable cars? Better cycling routes? How would you deal with visitor pressure, rubbish, conflicting users, cars? Parks are important for creating bio diversity and reducing the urban heat island effect. How do we design for that? How do we make our parks fit for purpose for the 21st century? How does all this fit in with the Mayor’s plans for London becoming a National Park City?

Submissions:

We’re looking for ideas, not necessarily concrete plans, so if you have thoughts on how to make parks (or your favourite park) work better, send them in to us.

The competition is open to all Londoners whether you are a park user or a professional landscape designer. You can send in ideas about your own local park, parks in general or the Royal Parks. You can write something in a short email or you can do drawings and plans that show what physical changes you think should be made – (four A3 sheets max).

We will put the best on display and pass them on to the authorities concerned.

Deadline for submissions has been extended to Friday, 29 May 2020.

Email info@londonsociety.org.uk with your thoughts, sketches, or other ideas.

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