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Type: Masterplan, Residential, Commercial

Practice: PLAN:design

Client: Low Line Steering Group

Status: Competition


Walking the Low Line rewards the determined explorer with glimpses into a busy and industrious world packed with small businesses and people using space inventively for creative and social endeavours. While these endeavours inject vibrancy and richness they can remain hidden and somewhat impenetrable to the casual passer-by.

Using up-to-date technology the Low Line Live project will create a one-of-a-kind fully interactive destination set in the heart of South West London improving the social, environmental and economic connectivity of Southwark. The Live project will create innovative and well-connected green spaces which can digitally communicate with local people to unlock the interactive potential of people and place.

The new Low Line will be a living system in the heart of the city. Able to offset carbon emissions, absorb pollutants, release oxygen, collect, clean and re-use surface water and supply green energy to local businesses and passers-by.

What makes the Low Line Live unique is how people can communicate with every aspect of the environment. Be it a quick scan of a QR code on a bench or a notification received based on interests, the Live app allows users to easily find anything they need; their nearest cycle hub, a quiet place outdoors to work, an exercise class in their lunch break, where to go to watch live music, book a market stall, locate a play area. The app also allows users to learn about the space around them, from the history of the area to the benefits of the latest green technologies used to create the living system, such as; how much water have the rain gardens collected and used that day, what species of tree have been planted and how much CO2 do they capture, what are the benefits of the moss walls and living tunnels, where can you see the flowers in bloom and what insects do they attract and why, how do the solar trees provide electricity, when can you expect fruit to ripen on the trees.

Where beneficial, routes will be pedestrianised creating dedicated cycle paths and footpaths, with interactive info-graphics of distance markers, directions and exercise trails encouraging active travel along healthy streets. It will offer relief from the heat, traffic, noise and pollution of the busy surrounding roads.

The Low Line Live is a concept and strategy for creating a live interactive platform that will evolve over time, shaped by the people who use it. A self-sufficient system funded by local businesses. Live feedback will provide information to how well spaces are used, managed and maintained, whether changes need to be made to ensure the right services and facilities are being provided to meet community needs and aspirations.

Early community involvement will be key to ensure the right proposals are chosen for the most suitable locations providing genuine and much-needed facilities for the people of Southwark. Flexibility in design will allow users to personalise the route. Over time the Low Line will evolve into an independent, creative and adaptive community vision.

Landscape Strategy
landscape Strategy
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