Olympic Park can reunite landscape and garden design, says ODA official

An important opportunity to bring together landscape and garden design is being provided by the Olympic Park, according to Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) project sponsor for parklands and public realm John Hopkins.

He told the audience at a Garden History Society (GHS) lecture last week of his hopes that the park would "draw together those strands of garden design and landscape design that have grown apart".

The sixth annual GHS lecture provided a look at the historical context of the Olympic Park and examined the creation of public parks from the 18th to the late 20th century. Hopkins explained the philosophy behind the new east London park, which, he said, shared elements of public health issues raised by the Victorians.

"The very first public parks were created around concerns about health," he said. "We're trying to do exactly the same with the Olympic Park because when you look at the health statistics around the area they're not very good."

Hopkins explained that Nicholas Pevsner's principles of picturesque landscape design in the 20th century would continue to influence design, but would have to be updated for the 21st century.

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