It's a shame the opaque regeneration speak has got in the way, and maybe little will emerge, though I reckon they should be able to do some of this pretty quickly.
I reckon the thinking is spot on. Small scale developments, pocket parks, planting trees... these things can make a difference. The joining up and the planning are also welcome. Recently, new urban green spaces have tended to be created at the centre of traffic roundabouts, or by way of dismal planters in shopping centres.
And I strongly disagree with JaneS - the small-scale, mosaic idea is completely consistent with what's best about this part of SE1.
There's a consultation on (according to the better bankside website), so we can pinpoint where in the triangle between Borough High St and Blackfriars Road we think a bit of investment could improve the public "realm". Which I think means public space. If we care about how SE1 is developed, we should take part rather than rubbishing it... shouldn't we?
I'm sure many of us are (justifiably) sceptical about regeneration-speak and developers/planners who pay lip service to consultation, but I'm a little surprised at the haste with which some people have dismissed an initiative to make streets greener and more pleasant for everyone - especially at such an early stage when there are no firm proposals to comment on.
I think that is my point. There are no firm proposals to comment on, so what is the point of the Press Release.
There is absolutely no substance to proposals such as these until they have funding and a chance of delivery. We have all seen them come and go, and frankly, I'm pretty fed up of publicly funded organisations promising marvellous change and delivering sweet fanny adams. It's a waste of time and money.
Until they have something solid for which they are seeking funding, it is simply ranking alongside free clean energy, an end to war and medicines to cure all ills as something which would be great, but unlikely to happen.
They should get their heads down, work at it, and keep quiet, and be judged on results, not spin.
As James points out, this project is embryonic at the moment, but I still think it's a smashing plan and the more that people voice enthusiasm rather than scepticism, the more likely it is to happen. Things do seem to move at snail's pace it's true. Being so close to the Elephant project, I am all to aware of it. For example, the filling in of the underpasses at the Elephant was supposed to start this past summer. But TFL, who will need to do some re-routing and re-marking, didnt get their act together, so it's now scheduled for spring. (which can mean, as we all know, either February or May depending on your optimism). A lot of you will not have been to Wansey St. (off the Walworth Road) where the first lot of houses for the Heygate Residents is finished - remember a lot of new housing has to be built before you destroy the old housing , just as at least SOME of the new shopping facilities have to be built before you demolish the E&C shopping centre. Is IS happening, but one wants to see something really spectacular. Large bulldozed areas and masses of cranes. It IS happening I promise you. This week I was at several meetings and without trying to be maddening I promise my Elephant Friends website is going to be up and running and I will be posting here with links which I hope James will be using liberally.
I'm actually very positive about the E&C redevelopment, and indeed met one of the developers active in the area last week which was very interesting.
What I think will make the E&C redevelopment work is the increasing momentum from developers around the periphery of the main site. It means that no matter what, in 5 years, it will all look very different.
Forgive my cynisim (sp) on the linear park issue, I hope I'm wrong!