Hackney residents welcome green space on their estate

Residents from Whiston and Goldsmiths Estate turned out in force on Saturday afternoon (19 September) to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of Hackney’s ‘Green for a Day’ event as part of European Mobility Week.

Activities on the day, including free bike check ups, films, gardening demonstrations and fun games for children, gave local people the opportunity to meet up with neighbours in a space on the Haggerston estate normally reserved for car parking.

The event was held in a car park to encourage people to look at spaces set aside for parking and to think about alternative uses for them. It also provided advice and information to support residents who want to give up their cars in favour of walking, cycling and using public transport.

Councillor Alan Laing, Hackney Council Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “Sustainable transport is a top priority for the Council because we know that our residents are concerned about carbon emissions, congestion and parking in the borough. I’m pleased that we can support people to make greener travel choices that will help make Hackney a greener, cleaner place for everyone.”

Giving up your car can save you money, remove the hassle of trying to find a parking space and lead to a healthier lifestyle. Feedback from the day was positive and included suggestions such as turning the car park into a permanent garden, a communal vegetable patch or an apiary for honey bees.

The event was organised with the help of two young architects from TICArchitecture along with Hackney Council and Hackney Homes, and was a great success welcomed by residents.

“It was a wonderful day,” said Doreen Emerick, Secretary and Joint Chair of Whiston and Goldsmiths Estate Tenants and Residents Association. “Everyone who participated got something from the groundbreaking event that I hope will be repeated here and across the borough, to encourage more people to think about what they can do to reduce their carbon footprint.”

The car park in Whiston and Goldsmiths Estate was chosen as it is part of the Hackney Homes’ Green Estate initiative, a pilot scheme to introduce energy efficiency within the homes of residents on the Estate.