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Urban regeneration and inner city greening

WoodBlocX BALI award winning designs are setting new standards in sustainable architecture and redevelopment. One of our most recent projects at the Westfield shopping centre in Stratford, London typifies our approach to urban regeneration and inner city greening. In our latest blog post, we ask: what are some the challenges that we face in planning for urban regeneration projects?

Cities are growing as population centres and, by 2050, 70% of the global population will be city dwellers.

As a result, the challenges facing urban planning and design are growing and urban regeneration will be a key factor in coping with this substantial population growth. The need to utilise existing urban spaces is particularly pressing.

So, what to the key decision makers currently think about our public urban spaces?

Sadiq Khan recently stated: As Londoners, we are lucky enough to have access to some of the world’s best public spaces and world-famous streets and squares, but too many are blighted with poor design, clutter, congestion and pollution. I will work with communities, boroughs and the private sector to improve our public spaces and creating more liveable streets and spaces”

A recent WHO report Urban green spaces and health – a review of evidence (2016) concluded that “there is a need for both small, local greenspaces situated very close to where people live and spend their day, and large greenspaces that provide formal recreational facilities (such as playing fields) and opportunities to interact with nature.”

A clear statement of intent to reintroduce nature to the urban environment and improve our existing public spaces.

What are some of the practical challenges faced in regenerating these public areas?

It can be very difficult to incorporate horticulture into existing spaces.

  • Space is often at a premium in urban areas and incorporating horticultural elements can often be nigh-on impossible. WoodBlocX modular design allows for fully bespoke street furniture that can fit into any spaces. We can incorporate angles and curves into our designs to make sure that your project can meet the demands of limited spaces.

Utilising low impact design solutions is absolutely necessary.

  • When faced with creating a landscaping solution for an area that is still in public use, a low impact product is a must. WoodBlocX was recently used to improve the green elements of a very busy Stratford Westfield shopping centre and works had to be carried out during operational hours. Seamless integration into existing areas and non-invasive build techniques puts WoodBlocX at the forefront of inner city greening methods.

Is it sustainable?

  • A simple question but often difficult to answer. All of the timber that we use to produce WoodBlocX is sourced from within 50 miles of our sawmill in the Highlands of Scotland from FSC accredited forests that we manage. Every part of the tree is used in our production process and each dowel is made from 100% recycled plastic. We are very proud of our levels of sustainability and are always at the forefront of responsible manufacturing.

 


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