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  • WINNER: POP DOWN by Fletcher Priest
  • RUNNER UP: THE LIDO LINE by [YN] Studio
  • HIGHLY COMMENDED: BUS ROOTS by Wynne James
  • HIGHLY COMMENDED BRIDGE-IT by HTA Landscape Design
  • HIGHLY COMMENDED BARGE WALK by Erika Richmond and Peggy Pei-Chi Chi
  • ENTRY GREEN ARTERIES By Bell Phillips Architects, Spacehub and Aecom
  • ENTRY A GREEN NORTH BANK by Yue Rao and Chuanwen Yu
  • ENTRY [RE]STRUCTURE by Scott Badham and Ian Fisher
  • ENTRY GREEN LUNG RETROFIT by Jerry Tate Architects
  • ENTRY GROW BOX by Atkins Landscape Architects
  • ENTRY STREET ORCHARD by Laura Rowland and Claire Beard
  • ENTRY THE NEW RIVER by Place Design + Planning
  • ENTRY RETRACING LONDON’S DROVERS’ ROAD by Howard Miller and Rowena May
  • ENTRY LEA VALLEY RAIN FARM by Andres Briones
  • ENTRY OLD STREET GREEN by Mailen Design
  • ENTRY ROOTS FOR THE FUTURE by Hassell, We Made That and AOC
  • ENTRY FLEET RIVER CHANNEL by Richard Reynolds
  • ENTRY SUBURBAN KISS by Ireland Albrecht Landscape Architects
  • ENTRY LONDON PARKS LIBRARY by Me & Sam Ltd
  • ENTRY HIGH, LOW, FAST AND FLUID LINES by Terra Studio

Green Infrastructure Competition

RUTH SLAVID, Photography: Sixpence Images

High Line founders Joshua David and Robert Hammond take part in the judging of the competition at the Garden Museum.

The winners and shortlisted schemes in the High Line for London green infrastructure competition provide an imaginative glimpse into a possible future for the approach. 

Green infrastructure is coming of age. What once sounded like a nice idea if a little left field, is now playing a part in the thinking of mainstream developers, who realise that it is not only likely to be popular, but could actually save them money. The projects shown on these pages were the shortlisted and winning schemes in the ideas competition run by the Mayor of London, Garden Museum and Landscape Institute to design a High Line for London.

Appropriately, they were judged and the winners announced at the Green Infrastructure day of a weekend-long conference on the High Line held at London’s Garden Museum. And while the projects themselves had only to be inspirational and did not need to address practicalities, the day showed that even hard-headed developers are embracing the idea of green infrastructure. Speakers from Grosvenor and from the team behind the development of Nine Elms on London’s south bank, which will include the American Embassy, showed how central green infrastructure is becoming to its thinking.

The Landscape Institute can take much of the credit for this, as it has been promoting green infrastructure by talking, writing and publishing for some time. And it is not resting on its laurels. It has just published a statement entitled ‘Delivering the next generation of green infrastructure’ which makes six recommendations that it believes must be followed if green infrastructure is to receive the same priority as other forms of infrastructure such as transportation and waste management, and become central to the way we manage our land. The recommendations form part of a new position paper on green infrastructure which will be published later this year.

Go to www.landscapeinstitute.org/gi to download the full recommendations.

Judging Panels
The judges for the competition were an impressive and international group: Joshua David and Robert Hammond, co-founders of New York’s High Line; Dr Penelope Curtis, director of Tate Britain; Mark Brearley, head of Design for London, and leading landscape architects Kim Wilkie and Jo Gibbons. Hammond said: ‘The response to this competition shows how many ideas are just waiting to happen, on, over or under the streets of London.’ Curtis added: ‘During this Olympic summer it was clear that London’s public spaces are coming alive as never before. There is now a popular appetite for making our outdoors more useable and more wonderful. This competition has revealed how much talent and how many good ideas we have at our disposal as we work together to make a great outdoors.

There were an impressive 170 entries to the competition. A separate panel assessed them all, and created the shortlist of just 20. This panel comprised: Ian Houlston from LDA Design; Robin Buckle of Transport for London; Jamie Dean from the Greater London Authority: and, independent curator, Meredith Gunderson.

POP DOWN by Fletcher Priest

POP DOWN by Fletcher Priest

WINNER
POP DOWN
by Fletcher Priest
This project creates an urban mushroom garden lit by sculptural glass-fibre mushrooms at street level inside the ‘Mail Rail’ tunnels beneath Oxford Street. It therefore introduces green infrastructure at a level (subterranean) where it is never normally considered. The judges said, ‘The winner and runner-up have this strong linear nature connecting neighbourhoods and the city. Whether or not they are ever realised they help people to see the city in a different light.
RUNNER UP THE LIDO LINE by [YN] Studio

THE LIDO LINE by [YN] Studio

RUNNER UP
THE LIDO LINE
by [YN] Studio
The runner-up, The Lido Line, describes an idea to insert a clean, safe ‘basin’ in the Regent’s Canal in which to swim the ‘Lido Line’ from Little Venice to Limehouse.

BUS ROOTS by Wynne James

HIGHLY COMMENDED
BUS ROOTS
by Wynne James
An idea to make use of the many empty roof spaces of bus shelters to create raised gardens with sparrow colonies, insect hotels and miniature wildflower meadows. Each bus shelter garden would be looked after by its local community, school or street.
BRIDGE-IT by HTA Landscape Design

BRIDGE-IT by HTA Landscape Design

HIGHLY COMMENDED
BRIDGE-IT
by HTA Landscape Design
An idea to unlock inaccessible transport corridors around the existing transport network — green linear parks built over, under and beside railway lines, opening up cycling and walking networks.

BARGE WALK by Erika Richmond and Peggy Pei-Chi Chi

HIGHLY COMMENDED
BARGE WALK
by Erika Richmond and Peggy Pei-Chi Chi
A design to re-connect people with water via the creation of a linear park, farm and wetland on floating barges at the edge of Canary Wharf.

GREEN ARTERIES By Bell Phillips Architects, Spacehub and Aecom

ENTRY
GREEN ARTERIES
By Bell Phillips Architects, Spacehub and Aecom
A scheme to transform London’s flyovers into productive and beautiful green arteries to reduce the heat effect and traffic noise and encourage biodiversity.
ENTRY [RE]STRUCTURE by Scott Badham and Ian Fisher

[RE]STRUCTURE by Scott Badham and Ian Fisher

ENTRY
[RE]STRUCTURE
by Scott Badham and Ian Fisher
Biocentric ‘mats’ and ‘sleeves’ to be layered onto buses, trams and trains to create mobile gardens.

A GREEN NORTH BANK by Yue Rao and Chuanwen Yu

ENTRY
A GREEN NORTH BANK
by Yue Rao and Chuanwen Yu
The creation of a new linear park from Blackfriars Bridge to Lambeth Bridge.

GREEN LUNG RETROFIT by Jerry Tate Architects

ENTRY
GREEN LUNG RETROFIT
by Jerry Tate Architects
Transform Tower 42 into a tower of green. Wrap ‘green jackets’ around the City’s offices to cool excess heat.

GROW BOX by Atkins Landscape Architects

ENTRY
GROW BOX
by Atkins Landscape Architects
A do-it-yourself green infrastructure toolbox containing product and professional advice vouchers to empower local community groups to improve their local playgrounds, parks and allotments. A small-scale initiative aimed at improving green infrastructure in London one small step at a time.
ENTRY STREET ORCHARD by Laura Rowland and Claire Beard

STREET ORCHARD by Laura Rowland and Claire Beard

ENTRY
STREET ORCHARD
by Laura Rowland and Claire Beard
Create miniature orchards around existing bus shelters to become shared cultivation areas. Insulated beehives placed within the trees and sloped sedum roof would catch falling fruit and collect rainwater.

THE NEW RIVER by Place Design + Planning

ENTRY
THE NEW RIVER
by Place Design + Planning
Breathing new life into a forgotten waterway and collecting fresh water at source in Stoke Newington.

RETRACING LONDON’S DROVERS’ ROAD by Howard Miller and Rowena May

ENTRY
RETRACING LONDON’S DROVERS’ ROAD
by Howard Miller and Rowena May
Revitalising the ancient route used to move livestock from pasture to market between Hackney and Bishopsgate, includes rowan trees and new ‘slow landscape’ areas.

LEA VALLEY RAIN FARM by Andres Briones

ENTRY
LEA VALLEY RAIN FARM
by Andres Briones
Create a ‘rain farm’ in the Lea Valley to store run-off and rainwater to serve the local neighbourhood.

OLD STREET GREEN by Mailen Design

ENTRY
OLD STREET GREEN
by Mailen Design
Transform the traffic roundabout above Old Street Underground station into a new garden to connect the underground space with the exterior street space.

ROOTS FOR THE FUTURE by Hassell, We Made That and AOC

ENTRY
ROOTS FOR THE FUTURE
by Hassell, We Made That and AOC
A network of ‘indus-tree-ous’ miniature woodlands planted in London’s left-over spaces (parking lots, derelict land).

FLEET RIVER CHANNEL by Richard Reynolds

ENTRY
FLEET RIVER CHANNEL
by Richard Reynolds
Re-instate the shallow stream of the Fleet, one of London’s lost waterways, in a cutting one storey beneath street level at Blackfriars.

SUBURBAN KISS by Ireland Albrecht Landscape Architects

ENTRY
SUBURBAN KISS
by Ireland Albrecht Landscape Architects
Transform London’s arterial routes into new green spaces linking the Green Belt to the city. Road verges and pavements become multi-functional landscapes for pedestrians and cyclists.

LONDON PARKS LIBRARY by Me & Sam Ltd

ENTRY
LONDON PARKS LIBRARY
by Me & Sam Ltd
Establish small book exchanges within London’s many
parks and green spaces. A record card inside each book
would tell the story of the invisible network and movement
of book and people through London’s parks.

HIGH, LOW, FAST AND FLUID LINES by Terra Studio

ENTRY
HIGH, LOW, FAST AND FLUID LINES
by Terra Studio
A series of four green infrastructure schemes: a fast commuter cycleway on raised railway viaducts, ‘air rail’ gardens beside railway sidings, a new iconic green bridge over Blackfriars Bridge and a floating flower show on static pontoons on the River.

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