Pocket park to replace car parking lot in Bethnal Green

Bethnal Green Pocket Park. Pic: Greysmith Associates Ltd

Bethnal Green Pocket Park. Pic: Greysmith Associates Ltd

Construction has begun on a new sustainable pocket park that will turn a 12-car parking lot in Bethnal Green into a multi-functional green space.

Tower Hamlets Council has invested £40,000 in the project, matching a £40,000 grant made by Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

The pocket park is designed to turn a previously underused car park on Derbyshire Street into a public space that will benefit local residents.

Landscape architect and park designer Luke Greysmith said: “Despite the surrounding urban spaces being a hive of activity, the dead-end provided only an opportunity for anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping.”

Plans include turning the old urban drainage system to a new green area where rainwater will flow directly into the Thames instead of into the sewer system. Greysmith explained: “With flooding currently a hot topic, this aspect is clearly beneficial in wider environmental terms.”

The park will function as a rain garden with plants chosen to increase moisture levels during dry seasons, as well as fruit trees and shrubbery along the boundary of the adjacent park.

The design also attempts to integrate the surrounding buildings into the park. For instance a café in nearby Oxford House will be given a new door linking it to the new outdoor space, depending on further investment.

Plans for the park were first considered by Greensmith and CEO of Oxford House, John Ryan, during the Chelsea Fringe gardening festival 2012.

The pocket park is due to open in April this year.


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