This public space has been transformed from a former landfill site to a new space with woodland area of 467 new trees planted in the park, a BMX track and a bespoke and proprietary play kit used by children of all ages. This reinvention of the space has added to the play and enjoyment of the community.
Where is the project located - please enter full address and postcode?
Cheney Row Park, London Borough of Waltham Forest, E17 5ED
Who is the developer/client of the project?
London Borough of Waltham Forest
Describe the context of this project and how it has made a positive contribution to urban life or user experience of this place in 250 words max. and please upload an image of the project in its wider context or a drawing that best situates the project in its location.
Cheney Row was a former landfill site that, through remediation and community co-design, has been transformed. The £1.2m project was commissioned by Waltham Forest Council and opened in the summer. Over 1,300 people from the local area and beyond attended the launch day!
The previously empty 3ha now has:
• A new events space for the community where a flexible range of events and activities can be accommodated. This comprises a series of platforms including a timber stage with amphitheatre seating where event-based functions, educational as well as sports activities can be hosted.
• A new play space containing a combination of bespoke and proprietary play kit designed for use by children of different ages and which encourages different types of play from more boisterous adventurous, active play to more reflective social, sensory and creative play.
• A BMX cycling track, accessible to all and currently used for regular sessions run by local cycling group COG.
• A new nature space, comprised of a range of soft landscape interventions to support existing biodiversity and create seasonal variety. This includes a new woodland area where 400 new native saplings have been planted, adding to a total of 467 new trees planted within the park.
• Improved entrances incorporating new planting, seating, wayfinding and signage and better accessibility to make the park a more welcoming and attractive place.
• New surfaced paths across the park providing legible and accessible connection between the new events and play space, BMX track and new entrances.
What do you see as the greatest success of this project? 250 words max. Please attach an image of the project that supports your statement.
In 2017 Waltham Forest Council appointed We Made That to develop plans to improve Cheney Row Park based on a feasibility study which identified a programme of inter-related physical projects complementing a new mixed-use development adjacent to the neglected space. This enabled funding through s106 contributions from the development to be used to deliver the transformation.
It was identified early on, through a multi-phased programme of engagement activities with the local community, that there was potential to support more activity and become an important neighbourhood asset. Located within the Lee Valley Regional Park, the project improves ecological interest and provides a healthy, safe and welcoming space for existing and new communities.
The launch day featured activities and performances, including live radio broadcast, chainsaw wood carving, making bug hotels and BMX displays. Two bands from Walthamstow Academy were the first to use the outdoor stage; Last Minute were the first act to perform and were then joined by Identity. (Last Minute won the Waltham Forest Secondary Battle of The Bands.)
One of the lasting successes of the project has been the new Friends of Group, established through the public engagement process for the project, which will help ensure the continued activation of the park to sustain its future.
How does this public space bring people together, encourage inclusivity, and make a positive environmental impact to the wider place? 250 words max. Please attach an image of the project that supports your statement.
As the park occupies a former landfill site, a tailored remediation strategy was also developed, combining a number of measures to deal with ground contamination and make the 3 hectares of parkland safe for public use.
We Made That worked closely with the Council regeneration and open spaces teams, as well as facilitating the emergent Friends of Group, across a two year period to bring the project to fruition. Environmental and social benefit was always at the fore in this process.
The space serves a population that is in the 10% most deprived neighbourhoods in London and which is 67% from minority ethnic backgrounds. The local authority investment, in part supported by Section 106 contributions from nearby housing growth, has turned a blighted space into a valuable asset for the local community.
Please share any data or figures that support your entry about how this public space or landscape intervention has made a positive social, economic or environmental impact, for example biodiversity, increased dwell time, flood or drainage mitigation, wellness or safety. You may also attach an additional image or document to support your entry.