Olympic legacy plans uncovered

A series of green "stitches" linking the Olympic Park with the wider community in east London will be created as part of plans to transform the open space after 2012.

According to Olympic Delivery Authority project sponsor for parklands and public realm John Hopkins, the park will have around 40% extra green space in its "legacy mode".

The extra green space will be created by transforming parts of the site used as Olympic Games venues into parkland. "Temporary landscapes" will be formed to buffer areas of the site being developed for commercial use.

In an exclusive tour of the Olympic site, Hopkins shared the proposals for the legacy transformation, launched this week, with HW. "The principle in the core park remains the same, but we are concentrating on making connections out to the surrounding communities, which we're calling stitches," he said.

"For example, the hard landscaped walkway from Stratford City into the park will be changed into a linear park."

A planning application has been lodged for the legacy transformation plans, which have been developed by the LDA Design-Hargreaves Associates team.

The plans also include significant wild flower meadow planting, formulated by the University of Sheffield's James Hitchmough and Nigel Dunnett. Although there will be annual wild flower planting during the Olympics, it will be replaced with perennial planting.

"We'll be using some new techniques," explained Hopkins. "The seed will be sown into a 50mm inert sand bed. Particularly in the south of the site, we'll be sowing them quite late on, just before the games, so they will flower during the Olympics."

One of the meadows, designed by young creative firm Klassnik, will form a geometric pattern. Landforms created using recycled site material will be planted with trees. The transformed parklands are expected to open in 2013.


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