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Central Park, Greenwich Peninsula

The Park was designed (by Desvigne and Dalnoky), in some haste for the 2000 Millennium celebrations. Like the Thames Barrier Park, it brought a welcome taste of contemporary Parisian landscape architecture to London. But the space suffers from bad landscape planning. New York's Central Park (after which the park was named and with which comparisions were made at the design stage) was an example of brilliant landscape planning: it was the right type of space, created in the right place at the right time (ie before New York's expansion).

Any landscape architect consulted on planning a park for the Greenwich Peninsula would have said 'it should be beside the River Thames - not on a land-locked expanse of grass and trees'. Good geometry and detailed landscape design can do little to rectify the initial planning mistake. The best prospect for use of Central Park is as a greenway leading from the Millennium Village to North Greenwich Underground Station. It should be re-named The Peninsula Greenway. When the Millennium Dome is in use as a leisure centre (it was vacant from 2000-6) the greenway route may become busy. But it would be safer and more popular if it could be seen from the surrounding housing. The oddly planned woodland and lawns are only likely to be popular if they are re-designed.

 

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The so-called Central Park on the Greenwich Peninsula may flourish as a greenway (below) but the the empty lawns and woodland will diminish its safety and popularity.

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