Marie Haase

Hacking the Street: Regenerative design principles for the existing urban street section and public realm

THE FUTURE URBAN population will increase by 2050, with two out of every three people worldwide living in cities (UN). To be able to develop sustainably, cities must dynamically manage and limit their expansion and protect their biodiversity and ecosystems while responding to the demand for housing. At the same time, cities must become more resilient against climate change as well as mitigate their impact on the local climate. Part of the solution is the infill and urban regeneration of brownfield sites which offer the potential to revitalise and positively impact the community and environment.

Remediation processes to treat the polluted soil of former industrial sites are an essential part of the regeneration process. Research has shown that potential bio-remediation with fungi and plants can be an alternative to established methods and be part of a systematic approach to achieving an ecological renewal of those sites.

This design project, based on the environmental analysis, introduces regenerative strategies and natural elements to the existing street section and public realm of Wallis Road, London, UK, which is within the London Olympic Legacy boundary and under redevelopment from a former industrial to a residential use. A vital part of the design is to work with the ground through bio-remediation of the soil and flood resilience strategies.

The proposed prototype, which responds to the environmental parameters and surrounding buildings, is a sustainable addition that improves the local microclimate, pedestrian comfort, and ecological regeneration while mitigating the impact of future climates on the urban population.

MORE is a part of Open Studio project run by the School of Architecture + Cities at the University of Westminster to make its design, research and practice-based work available online while it is happening.

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