Vast areas of brownfield land are now being transformed into new open space. Nine Elms on the South Bank will become a green and walkable district with a thoughtfully integrated network of parks, public squares, footpaths, cycle lanes, sports pitches, outdoor shopping areas and a variety of outdoor recreation spaces.
Industry leading materplanners, including Rafael Viñoly, Farrells and Allies & Morrison, are working together to redesign the area and create synergies between neighbouring developments. The entire district is now being shaped by the latest place making and urban design principles – creating a pedestrian-centred environment with active, inviting public space, cultural attractions, parks and gardens. It will be like no other place in London, a strikingly modern and beautifully crafted riverside quarter with a wealth of stunning new architecture.
The creation of attractive, interesting and well used outdoor space is the central aim of the public realm masterplan. The area is being designed not just to cater for local residents and businesses, but to be a leisure, shopping, culture and tourist destination in its own right, attracting visitors from across London and beyond. It will be a part of the city centre where people come to relax, shop, play, eat, drink, walk and run.
A continuous green corridor will sweep through the district from west to east – providing a beautifully landscaped, green and car-free pathway from Battersea Power Station all the way to Vauxhall Cross. Along its route the park will open out into a variety of open spaces and will extend off into the new developments, linking up with other public squares, shopping parades, hotels, parks and gardens.
This extraordinary green channel will be entirely open to the public and a focal point for shopping, sports, leisure and recreation, outdoor events and all forms of community life. Its edges will be lined with homes, shops, cafes, leisure venues and other attractions to draw people in and activate the space.
It will offer a new pedestrian and cycle route through the centre of the district – a green and pleasant alternative to the main road. At four key points along the way it will connect to the riverside path, giving people the opportunity to switch between the linear park and water’s edge as they make their way through the district on foot or by bike.
The linear park will be delivered in stages as a series of neighbouring brownfield investment sites are redeveloped – each one forming a new link in the green corridor. Its conception and design has been a collaborative process between neighbouring landowners and their consultant teams, the area’s two local authorities and the GLA. This innovative, partnership approach to spatial planning will provide an exceptional new amenity for the new Nine Elms on the South Bank.
The Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership is now exploring management arrangements for the area’s new public spaces which would see them play host to a range of exciting outdoor events and attractions.
A new stretch of the Thames riverside walk will run the full length of the regeneration area, extending the cultural offer of the world famous South Bank through Vauxhall and all the way to Battersea Park.
Like the linear park, the new river walk will be a focus for cultural and leisure activity, flanked by stunning architecture including the new US Embassy and a revived Battersea Power Station. There will also be a huge range of riverside shops, cafes, restaurants, cultural attractions and event space. It will converge with other public spaces along the route – opening out into parks, squares and gardens where people can come to enjoy the riverside setting.
As more of the area’s development sites are transformed, more of the river walk will be reopened to the public and integrated with a growing network of footpaths, cycle lanes and public space running through the Nine Elms on the South Bank.