Proposals have been made to revitalise Park Royal, Europe’s largest industrial estate, in an innovative new public realm strategy.
The plans, commissioned by Park Royal Partnership (PRP) and Design for London, worked up by 5th Studio, and developed in consultation with three London Boroughs (Brent, Ealing and Hammersmith & Fulham), look at ways to achieve a radical change in the quality of the public realm of Park Royal.
Park Royal provides great transport links in and out of London for the 2,000 companies based on the estate. But it has become a victim of its own success as ‘London’s Workshop’, with high levels of congestion on the roads and a low quality public realm.
Park Royal now says it needs significant investment in its public realm to maintain growth and attract new businesses. 5th Studio were commissioned to produce a strategy which could protect Park Royal’s long-term competitiveness through such improvements.
Among the key design features are the introduction of cycle lanes within the network of principal road corridors – one of the main aims is to encourage a shift away from the use of private cars by making the area easier and less threatening to navigate on foot or by bike - large-scale signage to orientate people entering Park Royal at its gateways, and interventions that strengthen the local distinctiveness of its districts: creating places for workers to eat their lunch, for example.
5th Studio director Nathan Jones commented: “The project demanded a strategy of targeted intervention – how to improve the quality of a huge piece of city without changing everything. Our proposals constitute a tool-kit of tactics which can work across scales; from re-working major road corridors to bottom-up projects which strengthen its sense of place.”
Alan Coates, Chair of the Park Royal Partnership, added: “The poor quality and confusing public realm poses a real threat to the area’s future. 5th Studio’s proposals allow us to tackle these difficult issues, and will make Park Royal a better place to work and visit.”
Peter Bishop, Director of Design Development and Environment at the London Development Agency, said: “This strategy presents an imaginative and deliverable approach to tackle the poor environment and congestion of one of London's premier business parks. 5th Studio have intelligently considered the issues, producing a commendable piece of work which will guide future investment opportunities in Park Royal's public realm, encouraging more people to walk or cycle to work instead of driving.”