Filwood Park, Knowle West, South Bristol
Our masterplan for Filwood Park transformed local opinion, attracted substantial funding and received an RTPI award for ‘planning excellence’ for its success in balancing the ambitions of the local community with the viability constraints of the site.
The 7.4ha park was isolated from the neighbouring community, and suffered from serious and persistent anti-social behaviour. The HCA acquired the site from the City Council in 2008 with the intention to deliver high quality jobs, family housing and better green space. Despite the positive intentions of the HCA no consensus could be reached with the community who submitted an application for Town & Village Green status.
In 2011, to overcome the deadlock we were appointed to develop a masterplan through an ‘Enquiry by Design’ (EbD) workshop. Over 5 days, we worked with the local community, and local schools, to understand their concerns. Using site visits, workshops, sketch drawings and physical models we demonstrated that the useable area of green space had actually increased and that the combination of improved design, natural surveillance and front doors opening onto the park would make it safer and more attractive, particularly to local children.
In recognition of the wider regeneration benefits of the scheme, funding was made available to enhance the park and to deliver a ‘green business park’. The landmark development and public realm improvements are already under construction, creating a new gateway to Knowle West, transforming Hengrove Way into an ‘address street’ and helping overcome negative external perceptions of the area.