Hackney Council ,

Park Hack: Use giant white cubes to suggest how we improve Hackney parks


Giant white cubes are being used to get people to think outside the box on how to improve and enhance some of Hackney’s smaller parks.

Four ideas cubes were installed in Hoxton Square, Charles Square, Mark Street Gardens and Hackney Road Recreation Ground over the weekend, as part of Park Hack, an innovation partnership between charity Groundwork London, the Council and architecture firm Gensler.

Residents and businesses in and around the Shoreditch green spaces are being asked to share how they think the parks can be used in new and interesting ways that will benefit the whole community by writing and drawing their ideas on the cubes.

After three weeks, the proposals will be presented to the Park Hack Innovators, a group of Shoreditch’s most creative and entrepreneurial business people, who will volunteer their time and expertise to turn some of the best ideas into reality.

Ben Coles, Groundwork’s Director of Communities and Local Partnerships, said: “We want those who live and work near the parks to re-imagine them, to see the potential in these often underused open spaces.

“We want the people of Shoreditch to share their ideas with us and for them to tell us what steps they feel need to be taken in order to bring these ideas to life”.

The works will be funded by a £90,000 grant from the Nesta Rethinking Parks programme which rewards innovative, environmentally-forward ideas for public spaces through Lottery funding.


Cllr Jonathan McShane, Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Culture, Hackney Council
Government funding cuts has meant we are having to look at innovative ways to make sure our parks get the investment they deserve. We want to explore how local businesses and residents may want to use the public space - perhaps for outside working, a lunch spot for staff or an outdoor space for meetings and functions - but without reducing the experience or availability of the park to the public. This is a pioneering project in one of London’s most creative areas and we’re confident we’ll receive a wealth of imaginative solutions to how we can make the most of our parks for the benefit of all.
Cllr Jonathan McShane, Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Culture, Hackney Council

Park Hack is one of 11 projects in the UK funded by Rethinking Parks which aims to find and support parks innovators to develop, implement and spread new approaches to sustaining and making the most of UK’s public parks.

If you can’t get to any of the four spaces over the next three weeks you can email your ideas to: parkhack@groundwork.org.uk or tweet using #parkhack.

For more information, contact Groundwork’s Communications Manager, Rachel Kirk, on: 078 8975 5511, or by email: rachel.kirk@groundwork.org.uk