Imagine London as a National Park City

"Imagine London as a First National Park City" - ideas competition entry


Project team:  Benjamin Walker,  Evgeny Didorenko
A place for people
We usually envisage ourselves independent of nature and wilderness; hiding our animal instincts with a guise of social responsibility whilst following social constructs and rules that have been placed upon us. By 2015 some 83% of the population in the UK live in an urban environment, indeed it could be said that this is now our true natural habitat. The notion of city living is attractive, food, water, shelter and recreation all but a stone’s throw away. This ‘ease of living’ does not disguise the primeval instincts of humankind and thus, we can view the wild and unpredictable nature on almost every street corner.​​​​​​​
Where once we craved mountains, valleys and woodlands we now surround ourselves the towers, concrete boulevards and city parks. This change from ‘natural’ to ‘man made’ environments has not inhibited our celebration and enjoyment of life.
The first national park city in the world?
National Parks were formed not only to respect and protect the natural beauty of an area but also to provide recreational opportunities for the public, this list of recreational activities is almost limitless but includes wildlife watching, hiking, water sports, twitching, climbing, cycling…the list goes on.
London is an amazing city offering plenty of parks and gardens, but something that makes this city really unique is not buildings or trees - it’s the people. London is well known as a diverse and open city, with over 300 languages spoken and residents from around the world of every colour, class and creed. London represents humankind in all its vibrancy and rich diversity and we believe it is the people themselves that should be respected and protected whilst providing recreational opportunities for its citizens as part of “The First National Park City in the World”.
Naughty by Nature
For any external observer – people are extremely interesting to observe in much the same way as we observe lambs in spring, bees in summer or stags in autumn. We propose to celebrate the 24 hour activities in the city whether it is watching the daily mass migration of people crossing London Bridge to the intricate social hierarchy of the Soho coffee shop tribes or the weekly Rut on a Saturday night in Shoreditch.
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