The Manchester School of Architecture, Master of Landscape Architecture Programme (MLA) and Land Use Consultants (LUC) Manchester office are currently working in conjunction with Manchester City Council (MCC) and Hulme and St Mary’s Community Group to create a communal green space on a fragment of redundant land on Heron Street, Hulme.
The project originally began with students from the MLA creating aspirational designs indicating how the entirety of Heron Street could be transformed into a shared space for play and socialising. Through the introduction of rain gardens, green walls, traffic calming measures, sustainable bin stores and functional planting, it was envisaged that this would provide a new identity to the street.
The aspirational urban designs were implemented as a temporary ‘Living Exhibition’ in 2019, using materials and time donated by landscape product suppliers and professionals. (GreenBlue Urban, Environmesh, Furnitubes, Urbanscape Green Roof and Barnes Walker). LUC kindly offered their services on a pro bono basis and through working closely with the project team, a design has been developed that prioritises simplicity and buildability.
This small but significant change to a ubiquitous fragment of unused land in Manchester City Centre will seek to show how green infrastructure can be introduced into the urban environment in an achievable and cost effective way. Post Covid 19, this will help balance built development with green space, improve health and wellbeing, increase biodiversity and energise local communities.