London’s new ‘park in the sky’ given green light

The Camden project is inspired by the New York High Line (Image: vPPR-JCFO)

Approval for the first section of a new £14m ‘park in the sky’ for London has been given planning approval by Camden Council.

The first section of the Camden Highline project will run from tourist spot Camden Gardens to Royal College Street.

The full project will connect Camden Gardens to King’s Cross running across 1.2km of disused railway. It will provide a park, green space and pathways for 20,000 people, and improve wildlife and biodiversity.

Inspired by the New York High Line, the Camden project started off four years ago as a crowdfunding campaign.

The project has gathered community support and attracted backing from a range of experts and contributors. These include the lead architect and designer of the New York High Line, James Corner Field Operations, and local architecture practice vPPR.

park in the sky
The Camden Highline project will eventually connect Camden Gardens to Kings Cross (Image: Camden Highline)

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the scheme “captured local imaginations” and urges us to broaden the horizons of what’s possible within our cities”.

Place to walk and meet friends

Lead Architect Tatiana von Preussen of vPPR said: “I live and work within a few hundred meters from the Camden Highline and I see it as local walk you can do with the family, joining up the canal and Coal Drops Yard into a single loop.

“It would be a place to go and bump into friends, forming a central spine of the community.

“A small section of it threads through the private residences of Camden but the longest part of it serves a number of housing estates and parts of London which don’t currently have any access to local green space.”

London’s ‘park in the sky’ supporters celebrate

CEO of Camden Highline, Simon Pitkeathley, thanked everyone, and said the project was “shovel ready”, but still needed “momentum” to raise the money needed.

He added: “To go from a Google Earth printout, sellotaped together on our table, to now a real designed thing with planning permission is amazing.”

Lead designer James Corner of Field Operations said: “Camden is a unique and vibrant place and we’ve designed the Camden Highline to embrace this special character. It will serve as a green connective thread, biodiversity corridor and a community amenity.

“It will be budding with opportunities for arts and culture, and an essential space for young people to examine and learn about nature.”

park in the sky
Camden Highline visualisation ground level view (Image: Hayes Davidson)
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  1. This idea sounds liberating and will bear fruit and be liberating when it is given a real expression.

  2. This idea sounds exciting and intuitively has the prospect of benefiting people’s life once constructed.

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