LONDON MULLS WORLD’S FIRST ‘NATIONAL CITY PARK, AND A STREET KNOWN FOR NEWSPRINT COULD NOW BE GIVING BACK TO THE COMMUNITY
BY Zoe Phoon
The London national park idea is to think about the capital of England and the UK in the future where there are fewer cars and fewer car lanes, and claws back space from the roads and returns it to the people of London.
Fleet Street, once home to newspaper offices of famous publications, could be turned into a green boulevard as car use declines, the Evening Standard newspaper reported.
Fleet Street, located in a historic part of London and sandwiched between the financial and political districts, has been for generations the centre of a bustling newspaper landscape.
Although the newspaper offices have long since moved away, the enduring power of the Fleet Street name stays.
It is also one of central London’s most traffic congested thoroughfares.
Under visionary plans just unveiled, landscape experts suggest that Fleet Street could become the city’s first major thoroughfare to be closed to traffic and used to improve air quality and biodiversity.
Architect firm WATG has teamed up with guerrilla geographer Daniel Raven-Ellison who is leading the campaign to have London declared the world’s first “national city park”.
The proposals would see new buildings on Fleet Street made out of a “modular, living building material” permeated with native wildflower seeds and containing its own irrigation reservoir.
Tarmac and space no longer needed for roads and car parks would be reclaimed, leaving only a central cycling path where trucks laden with millions of copies of newly printed newspapers once thundered.
The green block would also help connect parks and other open spaces to help London’s native wildlife move around, said John Goldwyn, WATG vice president of planning and landscape.
According to UK’s MailOnline, Fleet Street would be the first major thoroughfare to be pedestrianised.
The new proposals come after the earlier multimillion-pound bid to create London’s Garden Bridge failed.
The location of London’s first small-scale trial green block will be announced early 2018.