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Beyond the capital

BY RUTH SLAVID, Editor
Let me start this piece with a confession. I am a Londoner, born and bred. I love my city, where I have lived almost all my life, and I intend to continue doing so. My name is Ruth Slavid and I am a Londoner. If this sounds slightly apologetic it is because this issue of Landscape has a, largely unintentional, bias toward the capital. With the Olympics over and the silly bans on publicity evaporating, now is the time to celebrate the achievements of the Olympic Park, the creation of a piece of landscapeled infrastructure the like of which we are unlikely to see again for some time. We have examined it from the point of view of the design, the technology used and the people involved. And as if that were not enough, it has also deservedly won the President’s Award in the LI awards, so it has a starring role in our awards supplement as well. The focus on London does not end there. We publish all the shortlisted schemes in the High Line for London competition, the winner of which was announced at a highly successful seminar on green infrastructure, held at the Garden Museum in — where else? — London. In addition, in this issue, Jamie Dean of Design for London explains the thinking behind the All London Green Grid. And even Robert Townshend, interviewed because he gave this year’s Jellicoe Lecture last month (in Birmingham, please note), discusses two projects, one of which is King’s Cross, London.

This should not be the basis for an apology, since all these projects are furthering the cause of intelligent landscape design and of the engagement of landscape professionals in the future shape of our infrastructure. They all have lessons to teach that extend way beyond London.

But still. London is noisy and attention seeking, and there is a not-unreasonable assumption by those who do not live there that it considers itself to be the only place that matters. This is the first issue of Landscape that I have edited — a role that I am delighted to have — and it is all about my home city. Is this the state of things to come?

Most certainly not. The intention for the journal is that it will continue to cover the best thinking and design, wherever they come from. And I may be a Londoner but much of the work in producing this issue has been done in Wirral, the home of Darkhorse Design, the company that is now publishing and designing Landscape. Its office in Hamilton Square is in a stunning urban setting which, I have to admit, rivals anything London can offer.

So this is definitely not a London-centric operation, and we will be looking for inspiration wherever we can find it. If you would like to help in that process, please email me at [email protected]. It would be a great pleasure to hear from you — wherever you live.

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