Can green space keep its place in the Thames Gateway project?

HW polled delegates at the Thames Gateway Forum last week.

MAYBE - STEVE WALKER, LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT, LDA DESIGN

"Green space can really help with government agendas like flood alleviation and public health. It has a large role in quality of life and recreation, as well as sustainability issues such as reducing the 'heat island' effect.

"It is good to see that the Government is investing in green space in the Thames Gateway as it is a great chance to start afresh and really get things right. It is too early to tell if green space aspects will be vulnerable to the economic downturn but hopefully with people like Sir Terry Farrell campaigning, it will stay in the limelight."

YES - JAMES CLAY, CONSULTANT ENGINEER, CAMPBELL REITH

"In terms of creating sustainable communities that people want to live in, green spaces are extremely important. They are an integral part of the Thames Gateway vision - it is a major development and we don't want to create places that don't incorporate the community at their heart.

"(Development) is moving much more towards the integration of measures such as sustainable drainage and green roofs, and that is unlikely to lose favour.

"The planning process is moving the emphasis towards more green development."

YES - MARY JANE O'NEILL, ASSOCIATE, DRIVERS JONAS

"There are several aspects to the issue - there is the social side in terms of providing places for people to gather for sports and recreation, and there is also the aesthetic side of it.

"It is really important for this regeneration to happen, even in the current economic climate, but there are organisations in it for the long term and not just for a quick gain.

"The pace may decrease but I don't think we will see a slowdown.

"There is still a lot going on and we shouldn't get bogged down with all the negative financial news in the media."

MAYBE - ADAM MILLS, PRINCIPAL CONSULTANT, URBAN PRACTITIONERS

"Infrastructure and green space is extremely important to the area - it is crucial to its success. It's a really positive thing that the Government is now putting money into agendas like play and exercise.

"There needs to be a fundamental steer from central government to ensure green infrastructure is developed along with infrastructure like roads. The whole deliverability of green infrastructure could be affected by the downturn, though; if developers don't go ahead with projects there will be a big impact. Although hopefully it will only be relatively short-term."


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