London is currently experiencing massive development as it prepares for the 2012 Olympic Games, but it’s not all stadiums and swimming pools. The Olympic Delivery Authority recently expanded on their plans for the Olympic Park, which is set to be London’s largest urban park development for over 100 years.
The 250 acre site is being developed on a former industrial site, and will include a 4,000 tree woodland, as well as 3km of restored riverway open to the public for the first time in decades.
There will be hundreds of allotments, with a total area equivalent to the size of four football fields, and a massive wetland development featuring over 3,000 plants and creating new habitats for species such as otters, grass snakes, kingfishers and herons.
Human beings are pretty well catered for too, with a cycle park, miles of off-road tracks and a sports centre. For those who prefer to use parks for less physically exhausting behaviour there will be 250 benches, an amphitheater, and plenty of architectural detailings that will transform the landscaped park.
Chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority, David Higgins, says:
We are cleaning up industrial land and creating the green backdrop for the London 2012 Games. Inspired by the original Victorian parks, the meadows, gardens, woods and river walks in this new ‘great park’ will create a fantastic public space for people and wildlife right at the heart of the transformation of east London.
And the Olympics Minister, Tessa Jowell, offers a similar sentiment:
Nowhere else will features like the Great British Garden, wetlands and new wildlife habitats sit side by side with world class sports facilities. This will be a destination that the whole nation can be proud of.
If all these exciting plans are realised, this park could not only be the pride of Britain, but an excellent example to the world’s cities of how to design green spaces in urban areas.