Mark Brearley has been involved with the processes of urban change in London for 25 years and a major interest has been public space and the city’s outdoors. He has argued for recognition that parks and green spaces are not just a passive amenity but a subtle topography of settings that carry strong individual and communal identity. Action is needed to enable fuller popular use of this topography and that a richer culture of these spaces could be nurtured through simple means.
Brearley’s approach involves exploring and understanding, recognising assets and opportunities. It then moves on to the slow process of advocating action, building momentum, forming plans, realising projects and popularising places. The justification for all this is simple - these places have been neglected, but they deserve care, they have wonderful assets, and they should be adjusted and made visible so that more people can enjoy them.
The Green Grid initiative started in 2006, with the most focused work carried out from 2008 onwards. In 2012 the Green Grid concept was incorporated in the London Plan through a supplementary planning guidance document, and in 2013 the first tranche of stand-alone mayoral funding for project delivery was introduced. The initiative is ongoing.
The Green Grid brought together a complex collaboration between numerous stakeholders including: London’s borough councils, Thames Gateway London Partnership, the Thames Gateway regeneration partnerships, Environment Agency, Natural England, Greater London Authority, London Development Agency, Department of Communities and Local Government’s (DCLG), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). A large number of projects have been progressed. Alongside the works at Rainham, other notable examples are the Lea River Park, the Walthamstow Wetlands, Ravensbourne Valley improvements and Fairlop Plain.
News from The Cass
Project Oracle to be launched as a charity at London Met
The organisation’s application to become a charity was approved earlier this year and will be launched as a charity next month.
SICK! Film Festival brings NORMAL back to the big screen
NORMAL, a film directed and produced by London Metropolitan University staff, examines the relationship between migration, sex trafficking and the sex industry.
An evening with MOBO founder Kanya King
Kanya King MBE, founder of the MOBO Awards visited London Met to speak about her career, and to offer advice to students and alumni.
Reusing rain leads to RSA Award for Christopher
Cass student Christopher Crawford-Kelly wins Royal Society for the Arts Student Design Award for innovative idea to reuse rainwater.
Do children really believe in Santa?
Research led by Chartered Psychologist, Dr Louise Bunce, reveals that belief in Father Christmas is still wide-spread among children.
New student rep elected to Board of Governors
Students at London Metropolitan University have a new representative to the Board of Governors.
Starting salary success for graduates
London Metropolitan University is the number one modern university for graduate starting salaries, according to The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2013.
New designs for Russian architecture
London Metropolitan University has played a major role in the creation of a new and radical architecture school in Moscow.
London Met students Get Ahead
Students at London Metropolitan University got the chance to boost their employment prospects and study skills at a special event “run by students, for students.”
Ceramist called up for Olympic exhibit
A talented ceramist from London Metropolitan University has been selected as one of just 14 artists to feature in a special exhibition celebrating the Olympics.
Celebrating the role of London Met
This year marks two decades since the 1992 Further and Higher Education Act allowed modern institutions to apply for university status.
Architecture author wins prestigious prize
An academic from The Cass has won a top prize at the Urban Design Awards 2012.