07 July 2014

Call out to local architects, urban designers, landscape architects and related professionals

Forest Hill Town Centre - Design Charrette, Saturday, 19th July 2014
The last area specific vision and planning guidance for Forest Hill Town Centre was produced in 2003 and much has changed since this time. The town centre has seen a considerable increase in new businesses and new residential development over the past 3-4 years, a new swimming pools complex has opened and the Horniman Museum and Horniman Triangle attract ever more people to the area. There is also an established arts community focused on Havelock Walk and new workspace for artists is due to open this year in Louise House. The addition of London Overground to connect Forest Hill into the underground network has been highly successful and the area is in high demand to new residents. BUT at the heart of this the south circular still passes through the town centre and has a big impact on people and spaces, in addition key streets lack coherence, some connections are poor and key sites are an eyesore.

The Forest Hill Society, SEE3 and members of the wider community have identified that there is
a strong need for a new creative vision for the town centre and related areas, based on:
• evidence of how it works today;
• a community led vision for change and action; and
• creative ideas for making the town centre a better place.

Achieving this will be a significant piece of work and in order to start this process off we are holding a community led design charrette to be held on the Saturday, 19th July 2014 in Havelock Walk. 

The idea is to harness the analytical and creative skills of the local community, to focus on using the skills of local architects, urban designers, landscape architects and related professionals and to run the workshops in the format of a short design charrette or creative workshop. The written outcomes of this work will become supporting documents and content for further placemaking and regeneration work, to help support future funding applications and to help inform future policy guidance.

This workshop will be run between 10am and 5pm in a central venue that enables site visits, investigations and ideas testing. This is a realistic amount of time to expect local people to contribute initially and that we hope a sufficient number of people with creative vision and useful experience will be able to attend (ideally we are looking for around 20-25 in total for the charrette plus more for a feedback and review session at the end of the day). Those attending will comprise both invited local built environment specialists, including architects, landscape architects, engineers, planners and other specialists, and others that have identified they would like to attend in response to a local call for support. We would like those attending to include local traders, community groups, and people from a range of ages and ethnic groups.

Specifically we want to bring together a creative mix of skills, experience, local knowledge and new ideas.

The sites and areas that have been identified to look at include:
• Forest Hill Station forecourt and related sites, including the visual approach into Forest Hill from the South Circular
• Perry Vale pedestrianisation ideas and related sites, including the Perry Vale Car park
• The connections between Forest Hill and Sydenham along the railway line
• Dartmouth Road spaces and pocket park opportunities

If you are interested in taking part please contact Hilary@fhsoc.com

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