Kingston First and Kingston Council are leading on a public realm initiative to create inclusive happy spaces within the town centre for its local residents, visitors and business community to unwind, enjoy and connect with nature.
Kingston based landscape architects Davies White Ltd and The Edible Bus Stop design studio have been appointed to lead on the engagement and design to transform two prime locations; Eagle Brewery Wharf on Kingston’s riverside and Memorial Gardens in the centre of the town into green spaces that improve the pedestrian flow around the town, encourage well-being, social and cultural activities and acknowledge their historical significance.
Kirsten Henly, Chief Executive of Kingston First said:
‘Well-being is more important than ever and we want to bring that feeling of happiness to the people who work, live and play in our town centre. These are two unique and significant spaces in Kingston which we hope, through shared conversations, will be transformed for everyone to enjoy whilst retaining their historical and community importance.
This work is part of our vision for developing our streets and spaces and we want everyone to feel part of this. We encourage local residents, businesses and visitors to get involved through the numerous engagement activities planned’.
Cllr Caroline Kerr, Leader of Kingston Council said:
‘I am really excited that this project will transform these two spaces in the town centre into lovely, accessible places where you can sit down, relax and enjoy being outdoors. If Covid has taught us anything, it is how precious our green and open spaces are to the whole community so I hope we hear from as many voices as possible. These spaces are for everyone, so we want everyone’s input!
We’ve been working with Kingston First and Kingston University on a new vision to improve the outdoor spaces in the town centre and it’s great to see new ideas coming to life.’
Davies White Ltd and The Edible Bus Stop said:
‘The regeneration of these two town centre spaces offer lots of great opportunities to grow some happiness and encourage more people to spend time outdoors in Kingston when the Covid-19 restrictions are eventually relaxed. Each space has its own set of existing challenges and it’s our mission to turn these into opportunities. Through a series of community engagement events, we will develop design proposals that reconnect people, place and nature in the town centre. Members of the public, community groups, residents and local businesses will all have the opportunity to share their views on how to shape these spaces through a blended mix of online and Covid-19 safe in-person events.’
Members of the public, community groups, residents and local businesses are invited to share their views on how to shape these spaces through a blended mix of online and Covid-19 safe in-person events starting in February until April. Following engagement and feedback, the final design ideas will be available online and exhibited in the spaces by the end of June 2021.
An online engagement session for the public will be held on Monday 1 March between 6-7pm. To sign-up, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
This initiative is part of Kingston town’s public realm strategy; Reimagining Kingston Town Centre’s Streets and Spaces which was completed in collaboration with Kingston First, Kingston Council, Kingston University and the GLA. The strategy sets out a blueprint for how public spaces could be invested in to improve the experience of Kingston, encourage more people to move around all parts of the town and ensure that the town’s culture, heritage and riverside assets continue to be developed.
For more information about the project, head to our webpage.