Dalston Square As A Public Space
As you may or may not know, Dalston Square is the largest public space created in London since the 1940s. What you probably do not know is that the local council are very keen to make the Square a place for the whole community to enjoy (not just the residents) and, to this end, have created ‘The Dalston Square Culture & Community Engagement Forum’.
Though the Square is still some way from finished (early 2013 is the latest estimate I have heard for this), some small events have already happened: You surely saw the kiddies climbing wall some weeks ago, and if you were lucky you caught one of the 2 contemporary dance performances a couple of Saturdays ago (I have to say dance is not normally my thing but I thought it was great: Very clever and imaginative).
Anyhow, the Engagement Forum held a meeting a couple of weeks ago and I have been sent a copy of the minutes of that meeting, by Lucy McMenemy, the Cultural Programme Officer for Dalston at Hackney Council, so I could share them with you all. I for one am very pleased to know that the local council are serious about making the Square not just a great place to live, but a public space the whole community of Dalston and beyond can enjoy.
I have posted those minutes in a new thread over at our discussions Forum which you can access directly by clicking HERE.
Bicycle passage in and around the square is a problem. “Lost boys” on too-small bikes zip dangerously if not deliberately close past people as they amble across the square, and by the library even sensible cyclists are tempted off the recently narrowed Dalston Lane and on to the wide pavement.
During public consultations for the square years ago — the usual PR-managed sessions — a proponent said that mixing cyclists and pedestrians was “considered good design for public spaces”. I assumed she was bluffing. Apparently not, because now we have the free-for-all.
If Dalston Square is the largest public space created in London since the 1940s (a claim that is difficult to check and therefore easy to make) a way must be found to make the area safe for walkers, two-wheelers and wheelchair users. Cycle paths through the square and dedicated cycle lanes by the library would be a start.
Tuesday, 31 July, 2012 at 8:19 pm