The Landscape Guide

Abstract of an article published in the Town Planning Review 63 (4) 1992
by Tom Turner

Open space planning in London From standards per 1000 to green strategy

London Landscape Plans: 1829, 1900, 1929, 1943, 1951, 1969, 1976, 1988, 1990, 1992, 2000, 2004, London landscape architecture,

The five most important concepts in London open space planning from 1925 to 1992 have been:

  1. Open Space Standards. 
  2. the Green Belt, 
  3. an Interconnected Park System, 
  4. a Park Hierarchy, 
  5. Nature Conservation and Green Chains. 

The history of the Green Belt is well known and is only touched upon in this article. The idea of Open Space Standards per 1000 population was dominant from 1925 until 1976, when it was replaced by the idea of a Park Hierarchy, based on accessibility. Nature Conservation was not considered until 1983. The Park System idea was crucial to the 1944 Abercrombie plan, but was neglected until the proposals of the 1980s for Green Chains and ecological corridors. The  article concludes with an account of two reports commissioned by the London Planning Advisory Committee (LPAC) in the 1990s. One recommends a London- wide strategy to create a ‘green web’ for outdoor recreation, nature conservation and non-mechanised (pedestrian, cycle and equestrian) transport. The other recommends a revised Park Hierarchy and a new emphasis on the visual quality and functional quality of public open space.