Growing Grove Park

We worked with residents to develop a toolkit of ideas that spark the imagination and provide the information to empower the community to deliver the possibilities of a future Grove Park.

Pub Car Park...A Space for All Seasons
1960’s Shopping Parade...Discovering New Stories
Downham Way Lawns...A Wilderness on your Doorstep
Baring Hall Hotel...A New Story Starts Here
Downham Way Shops...Unexpected Encounters
Grove Park Train Station...Gateway to Adventure
Train Station Platforms...An Enjoyable Place to Embrace Nature
Baring Road Shops...Reimagining the Grove
The Bus Stand...The Adventure Continues

Our research on Grove Park revealed a rich agricultural heritage as well as a literary heritage linked to Edith Nesbit, one of Grove Park’s most famous residents. These two themes were combined as the inspiration to create spaces that are out of the ordinary and encourage social cohesiveness.

Our vision for activating Grove Park

“Successful places are shaped by the people who know them best – And we hope this piece of work inspires community-led regeneration by empowering local residents to re-activate their town centre and further embed a sense of pride in its place.”

Jonathan Dallas
Getting to know Grove Park with members of the local community
Character assessment of the study area

Commissioned by the Greater London Authority and Grove Park Nieghbourhod Forum, our brief was to understand the local context and history of Grove Park, whilst identifying opportunities for deliverable projects in the town centre. The proposals put forward are in line with the Major of London’s Good Growth Fund agenda and the Grove Park Neighbourhood Plan.

“D-P-Q were professional, engaging and thorough in every aspect of the approach to this project. Their ability to actively listen, whilst investigating the possibilities and potential of places, led to an innovative collection of designs that are deliverable, exciting and place-driven.”

Greater London Authority
A Nesbit inspired literacy trail

Nesbit has been credited with the invention of the children’s adventure story and the concept of unexpected encounters and storytelling has been a rich source of inspiration for this project. Her stories such as The Phoenix and the Carpet, the Story of the Amulet and the Enchanted Castle are centred around magic, adventure and exploration all told through the eyes of children.

Fresh interpretations of literary references embedded in the public realm is a way of celebrating Grove Park’s heritage in a contemporary form. A literacy trail embedded within the landscaping will seek to inspire a new generation of creative writers and to build skills and confidence amongst Grove Park’s younger residents.

Linking nearby community assets

Grove Park has a rich agricultural heritage and continues to be known as the Gateway to the Garden of England. It benefits from being surrounded by green spaces and is on the South East London Green Chain Walk route, which crosses over the Grove Park Nature Reserve and travels south towards Chinbrook Meadows and down into Elmstead Woods.

Greening unloved, unattractive urban spaces can be visually transformational as well as provide pleasant places for people to spend time, either alone or together. In particular, there are many examples of where an edible public realm (i.e growing fruit and vegetables in public spaces) has fostered a meaningful relationship with public spaces and has increased their sociability.

There is the possibility here to use food education to bring people together and have a positive impact on the area’s social sustainability and well-being.

An edible public realm.

The community were asked for their views on the proposals, following which a catalogue of interventions was produced. This included all the information required to take the selected proposals forward This toolkit is intended to help the community decide which projects will have the maximum benefit for their neighbourhood and allow them to take the lead on their delivery.

“I think it’s an excellent document and I really love the ideas and solutions that D-P-Q have created. It’s been a pleasure to work with Jonathan and the team.”

Local Resident

Grove Park, London 2019
Client: Greater London Authority & Grove Park Neighborhood Forum

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