Work is progressing on a new Pocket Park near Waitrose in Greenwich as part of the Low Emission Neighbourhood scheme.
The area was already green space though not the most interesting space:
Consultation undertaken last year presented a number of renders of how the scheme is likely to end up.
The idea of being a place to sit, relax and play is slightly tempered by the fact it’s in an area of high traffic:
It’s also beside a junction which is straight out of a 1970s design book:
While the junction’s design could be excused as a 30-year old relic of antiquated design thinking, it was actually installed like this after Waitrose and New Capital Quay housing completed this decade.
Part of the junction will be altered under upcoming Cycle Superhighway 4 work with pedestrian crossings installed. Believe it or not, despite being relatively new some arms of the junction to the west lack green signals for pedestrians. Money will be spent rectifying that just a few years after installation.
The area is almost completely surrounded by new builds – that is except for an estate. One I’ve covered many a time as in places it’s been crumbling away. Literally. It took residents years to get cracks and falling brick work in public spaces attended to.
Whilst having an upgraded space is welcome to residents, given it was already green (though could have done with some new planting and trees) why not spend money on the estate itself?
Unlike the pocket park site which was already accessible greenery, the estate has areas which are in effect dead space:
The raised greenery is not used for obvious reasons. It’s not accessible. Why not bring it down to ground level and add trees, playing equipment, wild plants, or even a stall selling coffee for the many new residents in new builds walking past here to Cutty Sark DLR station?
Anyway, the pocket park seems nice enough and any sort of public realm investment is to be welcomed. The same Low Emission Neighbourhood scheme has also improved Trafalgar Road – though not without a few hiccups. I took at look at work there earlier this year.
Ultimately though, to think the Low Emission Neighbourhood project will do much about overall congestion and emissions seems a bit fanciful, particularly as Silvertown Tunnel will see drivers head through central Greenwich to reach Rotherhithe Tunnel and avoid tolls at Blackwall and Silvertown.
And as I keep banging on, why are estates ignored in the midst of incoming wealth?