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Greening Cheapside: sunken garden improvement

Date updated: 16/05/2023

The City of London Corporation has worked closely with local stakeholders to deliver public realm enhancements near St Paul's station and One New Change – “Greening Cheapside Project”.

Phase 1 was completed in 2018 and improved the area around St Paul's underground station with new seating and biodiverse planting. Phase 2 aims to re-landscape the sunken garden at the junction of Cheapside and New Change in line with Phase 1’s biodiversity and use of materials.

This redevelopment supports the City Corporation's Climate Action Strategy which commits the City Corporation to breaking new ground, setting out how it will achieve net zero, build climate resilience and champion sustainable growth, both in the UK and globally, over the next two decades.

Post-Covid, the numbers of workers and visitors returning to and rediscovering the City has increased. People want to spend their free time in green spaces with opportunities to sit and enjoy the air. The sunken garden re-landscaping is an exciting opportunity to encourage people to come back to the City and inspire them to explore open spaces in a new way.

Phase 2 aims to transform the site into a greener, more accessible, biodiverse, environmentally resilient garden where people feel welcome and safe and want to dwell. The proposed design is based on key principles of retaining existing historic trees and root systems, improving accessibility and visibility across the garden as well as celebrating the sunken garden’s history.

The project will do this by creating:

  • A sense of community – A space designed for visitors, workers and residents to enjoy, which is both environmentally conscious and where people dwell and socialise through the provision of increased seating capacity.
  • Enhanced visibility - improved lines of sight and introduction of high quality LED lighting across the site to enhance feeling of safety.
  • Accessibility - a step-free access across the site, with accessible seating.
  • Sustainability - maximising environmental benefits while minimising carbon impact. Climate resilient planting and sustainable drainage features will be incorporated and materials locally sourced, including re-using granite stones from the Thames River Wall.
  • Versatility - layout design and provision of electrical points to accommodate social, cultural and business activation initiatives by local occupiers to support the City's post-pandemic recovery efforts.
  • A Celebration of the site’s history - through an historic interpretation of the design elements. The layout will include gentle variation in levels to echo the historic sunken  garden. Purbeck stone will be used to reflect the stone in St Paul’s Cathedral courtyard, celebrates the connection between Cheapside and St Paul’s.

The project is funded by the Cheapside Business Alliance (Business Improvement District for the Cheapside area), C. Hoare & Co., The Golden Bottle Trust, S106 funding for the area and the City’s Climate Action Programme – “Cool Streets and Greening”.

Officers are finalising the design and it is anticipated that the work will start in summer 2023.

Have your say

If you have any questions about this project contact the Policy and Projects Team