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Panorama Archives: 2000
London's Walkway to Health
By Alan Symes
Described as a "green corridor of grandeur for exercise, recreation and
stimulation" the London North City Walk has now been inaugurated as an
important antidote to city fatigue induced by "noise, dirt and traffic
intensity." The route has been selected for its environmental
qualities which are due to be enhanced to add to its popularity.
The picture shows a part of the walk in London's Regents Park where
organisers of the 10 million pounds sterling scheme celebrated its
The brainchild of architect Anthony Meats, the route's development is
being planned by a team of urban designers and architects including:
Dan Bone of CIVIX; Alan Baxter and Associates; Arup and Stuart
The walkway now exists as a route from, in the south, St James's Park
through John Nash's grand design of Regent Street and Regent's Park,
to Primrose Hill and Belsize Park leading up to Hampstead Heath and
Highgate - a distance of nearly 10 kilometres (six miles).
The London Tourist Board supports the project because "it encourages
both visitors and Londoners to enjoy different aspects of the
capital, in particular its wealth of open spaces."
Explaining why his concept had come about, Mr Meats comments: "There is
a clear consensus in the capital that Londoners should be encouraged
to 'get out of their cars'. They can be persuaded to do this only if
there exists a safe, convenient and enjoyable alternative which a
network of priority pedestrian routes would provide. These routes
would be for the citizen, those working in London and the tourist." He
added: "The walk is a vision of a humane and civilised London
environment in which a boulevard of architectural beauty and
classical green landscape is opened up, revealing attractive and
The walk, which is one of a number of routes supported by Camden and
Westminster councils, combines "urban grandeur" with green spaces and
offers panoramic views of the metropolis as well as "excellent catering
and shopping facilities".
Outlining the route is one thing; combining the various paths into an
attractive, integrated project is another requiring considerable
investment. It is envisaged that 10 million pounds sterling will be
required to complete the whole scheme with new squares and public
spaces in the longer term.
A 70,000 pounds sterling feasibility study will be carried out for
approval by the planning authorities. Modest improvements are
considered to be sufficient to "create a safe and enjoyable experience
for Londoners and visitors."
The London North City Walk
27 Old Street, London, United Kingdom,
Telephone: +44 171 253 1843
Fax: +44 171 253 5077.
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