Islington New Deal area public space strategy honoured

This year's Royal Town Planning Institute Award for Public Realm has been awarded to the London Borough of Islington's EC1 Public Space Strategy.

The setting is a New Deal for Communities (NDC) neighbourhood of 4,800 homes facing shortages of public space provision, poor housing, and low-grade play space and leisure facilities. Sixteen individual projects have transformed vandalised playgrounds, a deserted market and traffic-dominated streets into new public open spaces.

The strategy focuses on community consultation and involvement at the brief and design stages, a place-based approach, co-ordination of funding streams and a comprehensive approach to the entire public realm of parks, streets and estates.

"The most important aspect of the EC1 project is ongoing community engagement and partnership working," said council principal planner Helen Fallon. "Together, Homes for Islington, ECI NDC and Islington Council ensured that the objectives of the strategy were delivered as part of the public realm improvements."

The judges found that the programme makes a useful contribution to improving the physical environment on individual estates, streets or blocks. "The strategy contributes to sustainable development through greening the area, creating sustainable drainage, reducing water run-off, improving air quality and reducing vehicular intrusion," they noted.


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