The high street is facing tough times. Apart from some very fashionable town centres in popular and well-healed parts of the country, the on-line shopping revolution is seriously hurting.
The hurting has generated some very valiant schemes improving the browsing experience for those addicted to shopping. It is unlikely that they will turn the clock back, or even turn the tide.
Following the industrial revolution townscapes burgeoned then declined and, in many instances, remain rather threadbare and less than thriving relics of past prosperity.
Jack Pringle, MD at Perkins + Will Architects, in an article (Building, 21.07.2017) effectively outlines the philosophy that is bearing fruit in Margate’s current renaissance. Margate Bay, topped and tailed by the Turner Contemporary and Dreamland, seems to have come alive in a new dawn for the town. In what he describes as a model for culture led revival the town has attracted outlook changing investment in visual arts, music, entertainment and lifestyle. Still a work in progress, Jack comments that its all about turning Margate into a great place to live and work, as well as a great place to visit. And once the 140 mph Javelin trains can speed all the way down from St Pancras, it will be a great place to commute from and to.
Margate’s example neatly illustrates the profound realignment of focus for success in urban revival. Reversing the reducing footfall of conventional town centres, Margate has rising property values driven by the sweet smell of success – a success deriving from an ambience of Wellness. The tangible stimulus of regenerated, green and pleasant urban environments has reversed the downward post-industrial spiral. Instead of being an old curiosity shop, Margate can now justifiably claim to be a cultural hub as good as any in UK.
The notion of a culture led revival is engaging many civic and town planning professionals as the electronic market squeezes the profitability of retail emporia. Public realm regeneration will have to specifically target a change from a transport hub servicing shops to a magnet for cultural, entertainment and socialising facilities. The Wellness factor provided by open and green town centre spaces is a catalyst drawing the commercial punters.
Today, the greening of the urban environment is recognised as a major contributor to regeneration projects improving the sustainability ratings of towns and cities. Support for biophilic design, which meets humanity need for connection with nature and other forms of life, is growing. This is a self-sustaining virtuous circle with growing momentum and increasing benefits to meet the expectation of residents and workers for the ambience of natural surroundings.
For the enthusiastic Technical Sales Team at GreenBlue Urban, the Wellness factor is something they have appreciated first-hand since their move in 2015 to their custom built international H.Q. in the heart of the High Weald A.O.N.B. in the East Sussex Rother Valley.
The Compass Park campus formerly a Guinness hop farm – is surrounded by Ancient Woodland, acres of pasture and located less than a mile from the historic Bodiam Castle (not to mention the K. & E.S.R. heritage steam railway).
Long before wellness or biophilia were in words, GreenBlue Urban focused their on-going twenty-five year research programme on enabling successful urban afforestation in previously inhospitable city centre townscapes. Roots suffering from malnutrition and strangulation will not yield a mature canopy with a full life expectation. How wasteful to plant fine trees knowing they were unlikely to survive 10 years. The Holy Grail for GreenBlue Urban was the reproduction, in urban environments, of the pristine natural forest floor.
Every aspect of tree welfare has been explored and optimised. Commencing with irrigation, drainage and aeration the research and development continued through root direction membranes to complete tree root pit design catering for service duct space and heavy traffic conditions.
For GBU, listening to industry professionals has always been a prime source of inspiration, adjustment and encouragement. Through the two-way traffic of seminars, CPDs, exhibitions and academic cooperation the company has achieved international recognition of their contribution to holistic arboricultural t.l.c.
Although the GBU brand names such as ArborVent, RootRain, ReRoot, RootSpace and StrataCell have achieved recognition as industry benchmarks, GBU R&D is still based on feedback from landscape architects, local authority arboriculturists and university academics. Challenges shared at seminars, CPDs and in-house consultations, vigorously followed up, yield financial benefits and elegant solutions.
So why not contact us to book a CPD or webinar today!