Digital Book of Landscapes 2020


Ancoats Park

The resuscitated city

Simon Ward - Katy Cardwell - Justyna Grabowska
Design team

Cities everywhere are thinking hard about how they could be reshaped after COVID, where there might be fewer cars, fewer car parks and more need for quality green space.

As a society we must start to redress the balance between man and nature and the pandemic has provided huge impetus to radically rethink how our cities might work and best serve a changing society which is crying out for more natural city spaces.

One typical site lies on the fringe of Manchester city centre in the trendy Ancoats district, recently voted one of the Worlds 50 coolest neighbourhoods. Inspired by local demand, we have envisaged a Park on this recently cleared site which could offer the local community and wider city, many benefits including a feast of amenity space, expansive lawns laced with bee and rain gardens, a water cascade, adventure and mixed age play areas, allotments and room for community events, plus a range of facilities promoting healthy pursuits, with wide boulevards for safe walking and cycling.

The park would also be overlooked by thousands of local residents, improving their views, their air quality and their property values. With access to quality green space, a park here would create an oasis of wellbeing for all sectors of the local community, helping them to relax, play, exercise and enjoy peaceful gardens from up close or via longer range window or balcony views. Part of the site would be given over to development and a park cafe to help fund its creation and generate long term income for its upkeep.

This park idea was featured in two articles, the Urban design Journal Autumn 2020 and The Landscape Institutes design journal November 2020