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
London Met alumnus shortlisted for RIBA President’s research award
Dr Paulo Moreira has been shortlisted for his study on urban development in Angola and how architects can work in complex urban environments
Project led by London Met alumna wins RIBA Stirling Award
Annalie Riches, who studied on the RIBA Part 2 and Part 3 at The Cass, and practice partner David Mikhail claim RIBA's building of the year award for the Goldsmith Street project.
Professor Peter St John and Moe Reddish named among London's most influential people
Cass lecturer and rising star alumnus join London Met Vice-Chancellor Professor Lynn Dobbs on the Progress 1000 list.
Architects, designers, artisans and artists - Belmonte Calabro needs you!
Applications open for a unique international summer workshop in Italy, co-organised by lecturers from The Cass.
Thursday 13 December at 6.30pm
Special Cass Research Seminar with Peter St John, Marcus Taylor, Venice Fellows and the British Council reflects on Island, the British Pavilion at this year's La Biennale De Venezia.
Principal lecturer from The Cass, Architecture, amongst the best higher education teachers in the UK
Sandra Denicke-Polcher, Acting Head of the School of Architecture, has been made a National Teaching Fellow in honour of her outstanding impact on student outcomes and higher education.
Cass Architecture Lecturer is selected for groundbreaking scheme pacing new generation of planners in local government