Architects recognise green grid for London

A major green infrastructure strategy for east London has been recognised in the landscape category at the World Architecture Festival.

The East London Green Grid (ELGG) aims to create a network of high-quality open spaces that connect with town centres, public transport, the River Thames and residential areas.

Launched in November 2007, the ELGG aims to ensure that the regeneration of east London delivers sustainable communities that lead to an improved quality of life for its residents after the 2012 Olympic Games.

The strategy, led by Government body Design for London (DfL), was incorporated into planning policy in the London Plan requiring borough policy to take it into consideration in local development frameworks and area action plans.

The strategy also set up area groups with members from different boroughs, national agencies and voluntary organisations to improve collaborative working on a landscape scale by overcoming political boundaries.

DfL worked with a range of designers including 5th Studio, Camlin Lonsdale, East, Latz & Partner and Peter Beard/Landroom to help with capital funding bids. 5th Studio director Tom Holbrook told HW that the recognition the ELGG had received meant politicians would now take landscape more seriously.

"We are now involved in realising some of the aspects the ELGG is about, like the Lea River Park," Holbrook explained.

"It has been quite effective as a bidding document and a means to realise some parklands funding. It has got real political backing and success in awards is really important in that."

The ELGG also won last year's Landscape Institute President's Award.

DfL director Mark Brearley said: "The ELGG is integral to the regeneration of and future growth of east London. It will provide leisure space and allow east London to grow and adapt to climate change."

He added: "The collaboration between all the boroughs, agencies and designers makes the ELGG a model for green space planning in urban areas."

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