A three-day festival has been held to celebrate the completion of works to refurbish Potters Fields Park between City Hall and Tower Bridge.
"Potters Fields has been transformed over the last few months and the improvements have created a much better public space for the local community in Southwark, people working in the area and visitors," says Mayor of London Ken Livingstone.
"Although there were calls for the area to be turned into a multi-storey car park, I think this much-improved green space is a genuine addition to the area for locals and visitors alike.
"With the 100 Public Spaces programme we are seeing how good planning and design can enhance the city in which we live and a measure of the success of this project is the numbers of people who are already enjoying using it.
"The new Potters Fields is an outstanding addition to this increasingly thriving part of London."
The £2.7 million refurbishment of Potters Fields Park took more than two years to plan and 12 months to complete and is a collaboration between the Mayor's Design for London team, Southwark Council, Potters Fields Park Management Trust, More London, the London Bridge BID Company and Pool of London Partnership as well as local residents and businesses.
Designed by Gross Max landscape architects, the scheme includes better planting, grassed areas and walkways, a range of seating in different materials and at different levels as well as new lighting. There are different areas within the park, including a quieter garden away from the riverside with seasonal herbaceous planting by world-famous plantsman Piet Oudolf to provide year-round interest.
Richard Rogers, the Mayor's chief advisor on architecture and urbanism, said: "It is wonderful that we now have a beautiful park at Potters Fields where people can sit and relax and enjoy the view of Tower Bridge and the City, one of the most recognisable views in the world."
Two new pavilions with refreshment facilities and public toilets are still under construction.
The three-day festival featured installations, street theatre, aerial performance and music.
The celebrations in the new-look green space come at a time when the future of the adjacent former coach park site remains uncertain with a stand-off between Berkeley Homes and Southwark Council continuing.