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    Burgess Park: a new urban landscape for London

    The European context

    New Urban Landscapes was a European Union funded project to exploresocially compatible ways to develop urban landscapes. It was part of theEuropean Unions Interreg IIC programme which encourages research,development and partnership building across urban areas in North WestEurope, in the context of the European Spatial Development Perspective.

    Sustainable and Accessible Urban Landscapes (SAUL) is the developmentphase of New Urban Landscapes, which aims to address the key issueof 'the vital role of socially inclusive spaces in the sustainable developmentof metropolitan regions. It is funded by the European Unions Interreg IIIBprogramme, which encourages closer co-operation and integration throughtransnational spatial development initiatives which promote sustainabledevelopment.

    Six metropolitan regions of North West Europe are represented in the SAULPartnership: London (with two partners); Saarland; Frankfurt/Rhein-Main;Nordrhein-Westfalen (the Rhein-Ruhr region, with two partners); the GrandDuchy of Luxembourg; and the Municipality of Amsterdam.

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    Burgess Park: a new urban landscape for London

    Burgess Park is one of the largest andmost important public parks in SouthLondon. Burgess Park: A new urbanlandscape for London aims to:

    focus attention on the major issuesaffecting Burgess Park

    highlight the metropolitan significanceof Burgess Park

    present Burgess Park in the contextof post-industrial European parks

    raise the profile of Burgess Park andencourage discussion about its future.

    The publication of this document followsa conference last year on the future ofBurgess Park, organised by Southwark

    Council, The Friends of Burgess Park andGroundwork Southwark - partners in theregeneration of the park.

    The conference was prompted by NewUrban Landscapes - a European Unionfunded project to consider new types ofurban open space in post-industrial Europe.Burgess Park was one of two London parksselected to take part in this initiative.The findings of New Urban Landscapes arebeing developed through a new EuropeanUnion funded project, Sustainable and

    Accessible Urban Landscapes (SAUL),through which Burgess Park will receivefunding.

    Burgess Park is a valuable place with anexciting future. We hope this document willfocus attention on the key challenges andhow we can work together to meet them.

    Cllr Richard ThomasExecutive Member for Environment andTransport, Southwark CouncilBurgess Park is owned by SouthwarkCouncil.

    Jeremy BennettChair, Groundwork SouthwarkThe organisation which has taken the lead onenvironmental improvements to the park.

    James Da Costa

    Chair, Friends of Burgess Park A voluntary group with the remit to enhance,promote and protect the park, involving thelocal community in decision making.

    Meeting the challenges together

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    Burgess Park: a new urban landscape for London

    Cannon Street

    BankTemple

    Embankment

    Charing Cross

    Westminster

    Vauxhall

    MonumentBlackfriars

    WESTMINSTERCITY

    0 0.25 0.5 mile

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    Burgess Park: a new urban landscape for London

    Burgess Park has the potential to beone of Londons great metropolitanparks - a park bringing benefits not justto those living nearby but attractingvisitors from across a much wider area.

    Its size and location are certainly ofmetropolitan significance. Burgess Parkoccupies 54 hectares (the size of St JamesPark and Green Park put together) lessthan two miles from Westminster Bridge.

    Creating Burgess Park has been a majorachievement. Of all the parks in Southwark,only Dulwich Park (an historic VictorianPark) has more visitors.

    Yet much remains to be done in BurgessPark in order to attract people from outsidethe immediate area.

    The foundations of a great park have beenestablished. We now need to move forward.

    Numerous bus routes pass within metres of Burgess Parks entrances

    Burgess Park has the potential to be

    one of Londons great metropolitanparks.

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    Burgess Park: a new urban landscape for London

    Created from land formerly occupiedby houses, factories, roads and canals,Burgess Park is a good example of apost-industrial park.

    Ken Worpole, one of Britains mostinfluential writers on urban and social policy,has described four distinct phases inEuropean park planning from the Victorianera to the present day.

    Great Victorian and early 20thcentury parksThese were often created from thegardens of large houses bequeathedto the local authority, or from green landprotected for public use. People had a

    vision of the type of park they wanted tocreate, possibly designed to attract peoplewith a specific interest (eg. botany, bandconcerts, promenading).Examples: Victoria Park (London);

    Vondel Park (Amsterdam); LuxembourgGardens (Paris).

    Pleasure gardensThese are a mixture of park, fairground,open-air museum, concert halls andrestaurants. The parks were not afraid tomix public open space with attractionswhich had to be paid for. Examples: Tivoli(Copenhagen); Skansen (Stockholm).

    Modern and post-modern city parksOften the result of strong civic vision anda belief in the importance of outdoorrecreation, these parks were backed bylarge scale public funding (often with somecommercial facilities). Examples: Parc

    Villette and Park Andre Citroen (Paris);Park Industriel (Barcelona).

    Post-industrial parksThe post-industrial park is often created byland assembled from many sources,resulting in difficult shapes and boundaries.Transforming industrial land into popularurban parks presents particular challenges,quite unlike those faced by planners inprevious eras. There is no coherent design

    tradition for post-industrial parks. Examples:Steelworks Park (Duisberg, Germany);Burgess Park, London.

    Cities across Europe are facing thechallenge of creating appropriate urbanopen spaces in a post-industrial age.Like other post-industrial parks acrossEurope, Burgess Park has to meet thechallenges of its heritage.

    What kind of large-scale parks do we nowneed? What should be our vision for publicparks, and how can they be funded?

    Burgess Parks development is being

    funded via Sustainable and AccessibleUrban Landscapes (SAUL), a Europeaninitiative which seeks to promote sociallyinclusive spaces in the developmentof metropolitan regions. For informationvisit www.saulproject.net andwww.nweurope.org

    A post-industrial park

    Former almshouses at Chumleigh Gardens, Burgess Park

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    Burgess Park: a new urban landscape for London

    The vision of Burgess Park as ametropolitan resource is crucial to itsfuture success. So what is ametropolitan park?

    In planning terms, a metropolitan park issomewhere of significance to a wider groupthan those who live in the immediate area.However, definitions of a metropolitan parkvary. For example, the European Union andGreater London Authority use slightlydifferent definitions.

    Southwark Council, Groundwork Southwarkand the Friends of Burgess Park suggestthe following characteristics as helpingto define what makes a metropolitan park.

    This is not intended to be the ultimatedefinition. Rather we aim to focusdiscussion on what makes a metropolitanpark, in the context of the futuredevelopment of Burgess Park.

    A metropolitan park must be easy to getto by public transport, cycling and on foot(you shouldnt need a car in order to use it)

    It should be of a significant size and haveits own individual character or unifyingtheme

    It should meet the needs of the peoplewho live in the region, offering formal orinformal activities - such as concerts, fairsand other events

    A metropolitan park should includefacilities or attractions that encouragepeople to visit

    Although attracting people from a widerarea a metropolitan park should retain itscommunity focus

    The management and development ofthe park must be appropriate to the scaleof the park.

    What makes a metropolitan park?

    Like other post-industrial parksacross Europe, Burgess Park has tomeet the challenges of its heritage.

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    Burgess Park: a new urban landscape for London

    Creating Burgess Park has been amajor achievement. But much of theland remains underdeveloped, withlittle to attract visitors or encouragethem to linger.

    Burgess Park was created by the demolitionof older houses, factories and schoolswhich started in the 1950s. But it was onlyin 1982 that the different pieces of landwere finally linked together and the lastindustrial unit on the site was removed asrecently as 2002. Creating Burgess Parkhas therefore been a slow and incrementalprocess.

    The parks history and industrial heritage

    present significant challenges:

    remnants of former roads still remain the paths follow the lines of former roads,

    not necessarily what is needed now gas, water and electricity services remain

    underground, requiring costly removalbefore any large-scale earth movementcan begin

    Burgess Park is long and thin with lots ofboundary (created from several sectionsof land joined together)

    The ground has much brick rubble anddemolished material under the soil.

    Although large, the infrastructure andfacilities needed by a park of this size havenot