Boris Johnson has announced a new £200,000 fund to help regenerate some of the capital’s squares and public spaces. The ‘Great Spaces’ initiative is intended to “transform” existing public spaces into popular destinations.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Mayor said: “I am determined to do all I can to lead London through this recession and ensure it emerges stronger than ever. Key to that is improving our quality of life and environment, and it is the capital’s public spaces that make London such a wonderful, engaging city and help attract millions of visitors every year.”
Under the scheme projects at any stage of their development can be submitted for assessment by a design panel headed by Mayoral advisor Simon Milton. Successful projects will be adopted and accredited as a Mayor’s ‘Great Space’ and benefit from advice from Design for London, the body which advises the Mayor on ensuring design excellence in projects commissioned or funded by the GLA Group.
The plans were welcomed by the Green Party Assembly Member Jenny Jones who commented: “It is fantastic news that the Mayor has picked up the baton of improving London’s public spaces, but he needs to back up his commitment with realistic financial support.”
“£200,000 would only have a tiny impact on improving London’s neglected squares and streets – improving exhibition road alone is set to cost £13 million. I’m pleased that the Mayor is getting input from the boroughs, but where the biggest sites like Tottenham Hale and Elephant and Castle need improvement the Mayor has to take an active role in finding solutions”.