How green infrastructure can create inclusive, resilient and biodiverse places

Phil Askew peabody

In the first of a series of thought leadership pieces that will run alongside our newly launched Building [Re]Design: Stratford Design Challenge, Phil Askew, who led the transformation of the 2012 Olympic Park, considers the power of landscape

At both Stratford and in Thamesmead landscape does and will play a key part in their success as places that are good for people and planet and in doing so represent forward-thinking approaches to city design and placemaking.

For the London 2012 Olympics the park was a well-kept secret. Not surprisingly the main emphasis running up to the games was on the build and venues. However the park turned into one of the stars of the Olympics, becoming a place that visitors enjoyed and enthused about.

The brief set out an ambitious agenda: “At the heart of this project is the creation of a striking new park for east London taking forward the great British tradition of public park and garden design, providing an exemplar of contemporary ecological and horticultural excellence. The continuing and evolving development of the parklands should be seen as the long-lasting centrepiece for the games, that will deliver significant social, economic and environmental benefits for the surrounding communities for decades to come.”

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