Monday, 24 September 2012

Victoria Gardens: then & now



The apparent tranquillity of the top scene provides a poignant hint of how much the urban environment has deteriorated over the last 100 years. Even had the benches survived to the present day they would not be popular, situated just a few yards from heavy traffic in Gloucester Place. The situation is not helped by the removal of the perimeter shrubbery. I am not sure of the 'when' and 'why'. Perhaps it suffered from modern traffic pollution. Perhaps it was removed as a cost-cutting exercise; or the authorities' aversion to enclosed public spaces, on the grounds that they encourage anti-social behaviour.

The Council has recently embarked on public consultation on a Valley Gardens improvement scheme. The object of this is to draw up a comprehensive programme of modifications to paths, traffic flows,  planting etc. to enhance the user's experience of the area. Surely one "no-brainer" requirement is to reinstate the shrub border using a tough, pollution resistant plant variety, and narrow or even eliminate these side paths. As has been often suggested, a path down the centre of the garden would give the pedestrian a much greater sense of isolation from the traffic.

Other related posts (oldest first):-
North Victoria Garden scheme
Victoria Gardens update
Victoria gardens revisited
Valley Gardens consultation
Valley Gardens consultation - update

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