Greenwood Theatre Park by Zandra Rhodes

Elly Deakin Biophilic design, Community, Uncategorized

Parklets have recently been popping up within dense cities like London, New York and San Francisco. The everyday stresses and strains we get from living within urban environments can no doubt have a negative impact on our health and well-being.  It’s important to have green spaces which are out of the usual circulation routes in the city, as it gives somewhere for people to pause, breathe and restore their physical and mental energy.

The Greenwood Theatre Park was Oliver’s first stop of his Biophilic bus tour last week as part of Interface’s Negative to Positive campaign and it got a great response from its visitors.

English fashion designer Zandra Rhodes and garden designer Joe Swift were commissioned by The Mayor’s Pocket Park Programme to give the theatre’s façade a contemporary facelift to blend in with the surrounding area, which is now full of exciting, cutting-edge developments. Rhodes and Swift applied vibrant colours and incorporated a glorious array of plants to attract locals and tourists to the once neglected area. Now, the park attracts a wide range of users from students to tourists, which creates a buzz and helps to strengthen the area’s community identity. The linear park wraps around the exterior of the building and contains timber clad integrated seating, which invites members of the public to sit, relax or socialise. This design feature helps to strengthen relationships between the local community as it gives them somewhere pleasant and fun (as opposed to the tube) to spark a spontaneous conversation about their day.

The vast selection of plants (which are nicely labelled so you know what they are) not only look beautiful but create a space that is rich in bio-diversity. As a result, the park attracts insects and wildlife to the area and also helps to strengthen a person’s connection to nature.

Green spaces in cities are getting smaller due to a growing population and urbanisation. It’s crucial to bring nature and greenery back into urban areas to help boost people’s health and well-being. Spaces like the Greenwood Theatre Park are inspiring and encouraging as it shows how much of a positive impact a green area can have on its community’s happiness and well-being.

Parklets are increasingly popping up over London, so keep an eye out! Or do you already have a favourite green space in the city where you love to go and read a book or sit and people-watch? If so, we’d love to hear about it!

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Bus tour visitors checking out the plants at Greenwood Theatre Park…