Plans to transform Exchange Square, located right next to Liverpool Street Station, into a new landscaped park for the Broadgate neighbourhood have been submitted by British Land.
The proposal has been designed by architects DSDHA, who have already completed a great deal of work at the adjacent Broadgate Circle.
As the new park could include four times more green space to the area, it’s planned that a dedicated Broadgate head gardener will be appointed to create some impressive planting and landscaping and share the best in gardening with the community.
Plans for the 6,000 square metre park also include elements to blend nature with the “energy of London”, via a large water feature, a new restaurant unit, and event space for occupiers and locals.
Proposals form part of the City of London Corporation’s urban greening scheme. The Square Mile continues to renew itself but new builds and refurbishments tend to result in an increased density of development.
Dense and compact development supports efficient public transport systems and reduced energy demand, however, increasing density and other factors result in significant additional pressures on existing green spaces, and this also increases the requirement for natural features.
Simply put, the Square Mile’s business and infrastructure growth increases the need for more parks like this. And all the park’s features are intended to promote the physical and emotional wellbeing that access to green spaces provides. Health and wellbeing form a vital part of the entire £1.5billion investment in Broadgate.
Research commissioned by British Land shows that putting good design at the heart of urban development could lead to substantial improvement in peoples’ mental health, and would result in “substantial economic rewards”.
Being around vegetation more frequently, outside as well as inside, has been proven to release stress, lower blood pressure and help concentration. Analysis in the study also shows that by designing bigger and better urban environments that improve personal wellbeing, there could be a significant reduction in people’s reliance on government services.
This has the potential to bring about a £15billion boost to the economy by 2050.
Parks are also important in ensuring that the City of London is a more desirable place to work, thereby attracting and retaining companies of all sizes.
The various benefits combine to provide economic boosts in terms of energy savings, fewer working days lost, reductions in crime, increased productivity, increased property values, increased footfall for businesses, and increased inward investment.
David Lockyer, head of Broadgate for British Land, said: “We’re excited about the opportunity to create a new park at Broadgate that will help improve people’s wellbeing and that can be enjoyed by the entire community.”
It is also a part of the City of London Corporation’s big push to increase the amount of public space where people and companies can hold lively arts and culture events.