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Residents and water scientists co-design a community garden for Kipling Estate SE1

by Joanna Vignola, resident

Built in 1965, Kipling Estate is situated in the heart of London, five minutes’ walk from London Bridge Station.

There is a large disused concrete play space sited above the garage block, overlooked by most of the homes, next to two tower blocks.

Residents have

The Kipling Estate roof
The Kipling Estate roof

looked out at the concrete for many years and imagined a green space available to all, somewhere to enjoy, perhaps to plant flowers and edible crops.

With support from the Kipling TRA we have been working with researchers from University College London and Imperial College to co-design a garden that meets our needs while addressing environmental and water management issues.

Planted beds and rainwater holding meadows can delay storm water entering the sewer during heavy rain. This could mean less sewage overflowing into the Thames. Using rainwater to keep the garden growing also puts less strain on our drinking water supplies.

The team ran workshops on the estate in 2019 which were well attended. We started thinking creatively about how to manage water to make the project sustainable and have now produced a fully developed brief for a community garden.

With the grant from the Mayor of London’s Greener City Fund we are now ready to start implementing our project.

This project is part of the ‘Community Water Management for a Liveable London ‘programme (CAMELLIA) led by Imperial College London which is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council.

It is supported by the Kipling Tenants’ and Residents’ Association, by Leathermarket JMB (who manage Kipling Estate), and by Southwark Council.



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