Image credit: © [Y/N] Studio

09 November 2012

20 green infrastructure designs are to to go on display at City Hall following continued public interest in a recent ‘High Line for London’ design competition

20 ‘green’ designs which were shortlisted in a competition to find new ideas for green space in the capital are to go on display at City Hall from the 19th to 30th November. Launched by the Landscape Institute in partnership with the Mayor of London and Garden Museum, and inspired by the success of New York’s High Line, an urban park created from a disused railway line in Manhattan, the competition attracted 170 entries from all over the world. ‘Pop Down’ by Fletcher Priest Architects won the competition with an idea to create an underground mushroom garden experience beneath Oxford Street.

The shortlisted designs range from massive city-wide strategies, like using the empty space on top of buses, trams and trains to create mobile gardens, to small-scale community projects, like miniature urban woodlands in London’s forgotten spaces. The locations selected span the whole of the city, and include the disused ‘Mail Rail’ tunnel under Oxford Street, the forgotten Fleet River in Blackfriars, Shoreditch High Street, a stretch of the A20 in south London and the ‘Square Mile’. Several themes appear to dominate the shortlisted entries: the significance of journeys, links and transport infrastructure and how they impact on our lives is addressed by many of the entries. And, the power of water – whether it’s the Thames or some of London’s forgotten waterways or issues like water scarcity, flooding and pollution, many of the designs make use of water in their designs.

Free exhibition: 19th to 30th November Open Monday-Thursday 8.30-6pm and Friday 8.30-5.30pm

Exhibition 1, 19th to 23rd November: a summary of each of the 20 shortlisted entries on display on the ramp leading to the lower ground floor

Exhibition 2, 19th to 30th November: a detailed breakdown of each of the 20 shortlisted entries displayed outside the Chamber on the second floor

City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, London SE1 2AA
London Bridge: 10 minute walk, Tower Hill: 15 minute walk.

The winning ideas:
‘Pop Down’ by Fletcher Priest Architects won the competition with an idea to create an underground mushroom garden experience beneath Oxford Street. The runner-up was ‘The Lido Line by [Y/N] Studio with 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. The judges were so impressed by the standard of entries that they also selected three highly commended designs. Bridge-It by HTA: an idea to unlock inaccessible transport corridors around the existing transport network – green linear parks built over, under and beside railway lines and a series of cycling and walking networks linking transport hubs. 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. And 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.

Speaking about the popularity of the competition Sue Illman, President of the Landscape Institute said:
“The quality of ideas the competition has generated demonstrate the vision and skill among a new generation of design talent that’s ready to unlock the potential of green infrastructure to create a more sustainable city. What’s also very exciting is the continued interest from the general public – eager to understand how this green vision can deliver benefits like flood management, urban cooling, green transport links and ecological connectivity.”

Matthew Pencharz, Environment Advisor to the Mayor of London said: “The High Line competition, supported by the Mayor, has inspired a fantastic array of exciting new green infrastructure ideas. We are pleased to welcome this creativity to City Hall in a public exhibition that showcases the very best entries and allows Londoners to come and take a look for themselves.”

An online gallery of the 20 shortlisted designs is also viewable at