London has had 3 great open space plans:
All were published prior to the enactment of the 1947 Town and Country Planning Act.
The 1943 ‘Abercrombie’ open space plan for London was founded on three concepts:
Open Space Standards per 1000 population, which were the dominant idea until 1976, led to standardised parks, planned on a quantitative basis. The Green Belt commanded wide respect throughout the period, primarily, and regrettably, as a’ belt of land which is protected against building development. The Park System idea was highly regarded by Abercrombie, but received scant attention in official documents from 1951 to 1976. It has resurfaced in the form of Green Chains. After.1990; with impetus from LPAC, there have been proposals for:
The boroughs must coordinate their terminology and their efforts. Standardised parks should give way to innumerable areas of special character and special function, linked by a green web, to form a second public realm of high-quality ‘green’ space, owned and managed by a wider variety of agencies than at present.
Although landscape planning does not come within the powers of London's elected mayor, Ken Livingstone's manifesto gives hope that his advocacy will support this cause.
Specialized Public Open Space: the Skateboard Arena on the South Bank in London (image courtesy SomeRandomNerd)