Park Introduction and Overview

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History

  • East London was once a thriving centre of industry and manufacturing, but by the end of the 20th Century the area was suffering from unemployment and neglect.
  • In the 1980's, both national government and local boroughs began to frame plans for inner city renewal. A new ambition began to emerge for East London: a desire to give residents of Barking & Dagenham, Hackney, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest the same social and economic chances as their neighbours across London.
  • At the end of the 1990s, the impetus for change arrived via the prospect of hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games
  • The London 2012 Games were hugely successful for British Sport (Great Britain finished 3rd in the medal table for both the Olympics and Paralympics), volunteering, public spirit and international perceptions of the UK.
  • For East London, the successful bid led to far more than a triumphant event. London 2012 freed up land for regeneration and introduced new infrastructure. It raised the profile of a deprived, hitherto-overlooked part of London, by aligning political will, public sector planning and recognition from international investors. It reignited pride.
  • Following the Games, the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) was established as the first Mayoral Development Corporation, to manage the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and its venues and to deliver regeneration for East London.
  • LLDC took ownership of the Park and venues in April 2012 and became the local planning authority and regeneration agency for the Park and surrounding area in October 2012 (covering a 480 hectare area). This includes both the Park itself and neighbouring districts including Hackney Wick, Fish Island, Bromley-by-Bow, Sugar House Lane, Carpenters Estate and Westfield Stratford City.

The Park

  • The Park covers 560 acres (226.6 hectares) - the equivalent of around 300 football pitches, and is bigger than Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens combined.
  • It was opened in two stages - North Park in July 2013 and South Park in April 2014.
  • 5.1m people visited the Park in the 2015/16 financial year.
  • Entry to the Park is free.
  • There are 6.5km of waterways - the River Lea and Lea Navigation run North - South through the Park.
  • At least 45 species of bird and 120 species of insect inhabit the Park.
  • There are approx. 26 acres of woods with over 13,000 trees.
  • A number of rare species have been spotted in and around the Park, including the Streaked Bombardier Beetle and the Clearwing moth.
  • The Park was awarded Green Flag status in 2014 and 2015.
  • Parkland irrigation is managed by a non-potable network served by an innovative water-recycling plant based at the Old Ford nature reserve.
  • The Park generates renewable energy through the photovoltaic cell arrays (electricity generating solar panels) on the Timberlodge Cafe and Community Centre, Podium Cafe and Multi-storey car park.
  • The Park is the first urban park in the world to offer free access to wifi to the public.
  • The Park and buildings have been nominated for more than 35 major awards.

Awards

Selection of most prestigious awards
Royal Institute of British Architects - Stirling Awar Nominations
(overall architecture award)
2014 Zaha Hadid for the London Aquatic Centre
2012 Populous for Olympic Velodrome
2011 Hopkins Architects for Olympic Velodrome
New London Architecture Awards
2012 Overall winner, Public Realm & Masterplan - Allies and Morrison, MacCreanor Lavington and Witherford Watson Mann for Legacy Communities Scheme.
Civic Trust Awards
2014 Selwyn Goldsmith Award for Universal Design - erect architecture for Timber Lodge and Tumbling Bay Playground.
London Planning Awards
2014 Mayor's Award for Planning Excellence & Best New Place To Live - East Village.
British Association of Landscape Architecture Awards.
2014 Grand Award - Willerby Landscapes for South Park.
MIPIM Awards (International Real Estate)
2015 Special Jury Award for Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
National Venue Awards
2015 Best Unusual Venue for ArcelorMittal Orbit
Park Green Flag
2014 Designation for Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park made in July 2014 and maintained, 2015 onwards.