A High Line for London design competition launched by the Landscape Institute, Mayor of London and Garden Museum has announced the finalists shortlist of 20 designs selected from over 170 entries. Inspired by the success of New York’s High Line, an urban park which has transcended the commonly accepted role of an urban park, the competition has inspired a shortlist of ideas that range from massive city-wide strategies, like using the empty space on top of buses, trams and trains to create mobile gardens, to small-scale community projects, like miniature urban woodlands in London’s forgotten spaces. The winners will be announced at the Landscape Institute’s Green Infrastructure day.
The locations selected span the whole of the city, and include the disused ‘Mail Rail’ tunnel under Oxford Street, the forgotten Fleet River in Blackfriars, Shoreditch High Street, a stretch of the A20 in south London and the ‘Square Mile’.
The 20 shortlisted designs include:
Green Arteries | Bell Phillips Architects, Spacehub and AECOM(see title image)
A scheme to transform London’s flyovers into productive and beautiful green arteries to reduce the heat effect and traffic noise and encourage biodiversity.
[Re]Structure | Scott Badham and Ian Fisher (above)
Biocentric ‘mats’ and ‘sleeves’ to be layered onto buses, trams and trains to create mobile gardens.
The Lido Line | [Y/N] Studio
Insert a clean, safe ‘basin’ in the Regent’s Canal in which to swim the ‘Lido Line’ from Little Venice to Limehouse. Includes a multi-layered membrane and oxygenating reeds in key locations.
Pop Down | Fletcher Priest Architects
Create an urban mushroom garden lit by sculptural glass-fibre mushrooms at street level inside the ‘Mail Rail’ tunnels beneath Oxford Street.
Street Orchard | Laura Rowland and Claire Beard
Create miniature orchards around existing bus shelters to become shared cultivation areas. Insulated beehives placed within the trees and sloped sedum roof would catch falling fruit and collect rainwater.
Bus Roots | Wynne James
Utilize empty roof spaces of bus shelters to create raised gardens with sparrow colonies, insect hotels and miniature wildflower meadows. Each garden to be looked after by its local community, school or street.
HTA | Bridge-It
Unlocking corridors around the existing transport network – green linear parks and cycling and walking networks built over, under and beside railway lines.
High, Low, Fast and Fluid Lines | Terra Studio
A series of four green infrastructure schemes: a fast commuter cycleway on raised railway viaducts, ‘air rail’ gardens beside railway sidings, a new iconic green bridge over Blackfriars Bridge and a floating flower show on static pontoons on the River.
Old Street Green by Mailen Design
Transform the traffic roundabout above Old Street Underground station into a new garden to connect the underground space with the exterior street space.
Ireland Albrecht Landscape Architects | Suburban Kiss
Transforming London’s arterial routes into new multi-functional green spaces linking the Green Belt to the city.
A Green North Bank | Yue Rao and Chuanwen Yu
The creation of a new linear park from Blackfriars Bridge to Lambeth Bridge.
The New River | Place Design + Planning
Breathing new life into a forgotten waterway and collecting fresh water at source in Stoke Newington.
Retracing London’s Drovers’ Road by Howard Miller and Rowena May.
Revitalising the ancient route used to move livestock from pasture to market between Hackney and Bishopsgate, includes rowan trees and new ‘slow landscape’ areas.
Richard Reynolds | Fleet River Channel
Reinstate the shallow stream of the Fleet, one of London’s lost waterways, in a cutting one storey beneath street level at Blackfriars.
Barge Walk |Erika Richmond and Peggy Pei-Chi Chi
Connect people with water via the creation of a linear park, farm and wetland on floating barges at the edge of Canary Wharf.
Howard Miller and Rowena Hay | Retracing London’s Drovers’ Roads
Revitalising the ancient route used to move livestock from pasture to market between Hackney and Bishopsgate.
HASSELL with We Made That and AOC | Roots for the Future
A network of ‘indus-tree-ous’ miniature woodlands planted in London’s left-over spaces (parking lots, derelict land).
Lea Valley Rain Farm | Andres Briones
Create a ‘rain farm’ in the Lea Valley to store run-off and rainwater to serve the local neighbourhood.
London Parks Library | Me & Sam Ltd
Establish small book exchanges within London’s many parks and green spaces. A record card inside each book would tell the story of the invisible network and movement of book and people through London’s parks.
Grow Box | Atkins Landscape Architects
A do-it-yourself green infrastructure toolbox containing product and professional advice vouchers to empower local community groups to improve their local playgrounds, parks and allotments. A small-scale initiative aimed at improving green infrastructure in London one small step at a time.
Green Lung Retrofit | Jerry Tate Architects
Transform Tower 42 into a tower of green. Wrap ‘green jackets’ around the City’s offices to cool excess heat.
Other images from each entry are also available at the A High Line for London website