New London Awards 2021 Winner - Low Line Commons
Overall winner and winner in the PLANNING category
Planning category sponsored by VU.CITY
This sustainable vision and strategy is part of the Low Line scheme to create a green corridor along the Victorian railway viaduct meandering through Bankside, London Bridge and Bermondsey. The Low Line Commons, commissioned by Low Line partners, will connect people with nature and increase environmental resilience along its length by promoting innovative greening and sustainability projects that mitigate climate change. It celebrates the diversity and heritage of each neighbourhood with a series of hubs to encourage communities to unify and share a ‘sense of place’.
The streets and spaces around the viaduct currently divide neighbourhoods, block access, and create dark and oppressive spaces. Whilst the viaduct is a common element, the surrounding areas also each have their own unique characteristics. The strategy will tie these areas together into a coherent whole whilst celebrating the diversity and unique characteristics.
A toolkit solution of 12 components is designed to be used to provide the best response to each unique neighbourhood. Elements centre around establishing biodiversity and ecological connectivity, building climate resilience and connecting people with each other and nature. Responding to scale is also key so spaces can be knitted together to function as a coherent place. Included are pocket parks, wildlife micro habitats, SuDS, planters and street trees, overhead habitats, productive private green spaces, sensory play areas, pedestrian priority, lighting, canopies, seating and pop-up uses.
Whether large or small, by great visionary designers or through local acts of love and care, together they can make up a 3.5 km, cultural resource. The value of which is the Commons approach, where residents and businesses coexist.
Shared action by the Low Line Partners – Better Bankside, Team London Bridge, Blue Bermondsey, Southwark Council and The Arch Company – with Friends of the Low Line, residents, businesses, landowners and developers, can deliver this coherent ‘green seam.’ The ambition is for 50,000 sqm biodiverse roofs, 500 new trees, 30 SuDS raingardens, 10,000 plants, 100 new wildlife habitats, 1,000 sqm wildflower meadows, 500 sqm ‘grey to green’ de-paving projects, 30 pocket spaces supporting social interaction and 3.5 km carriageway transformed to support green business and active travel.
International Jury Quote
Having walked around the area, I can see the need for it, I can see it would enliven the area. I think it's achievable