Garden Bridge London – Vanity Project or Inspired Green Space?
Research abounds confirming the importance of green spaces, exercise and visual amenity for our physical and emotional well-being. That makes the failure of the Garden Bridge in London a very real loss to the London skyline and to residents and visitors.
Press reports this past week have focused almost exclusively on the financial losses and particularly the high fees paid to various third parties for something that simply didn’t happen. No doubt there will be more questions and investigations to apportion blame for the failure.
But who is asking the really great questions? What went wrong? Why is this not a success story to bring positive attention to London and a much needed amenity for well-being? And how can we get it back on track?
This project had huge support. It was not a new idea. There is High Line in New York. Granted, there is not quite the opportunity for the commercial halo effect generated by High Line but the value to the community of such a beautiful amenity is beyond question.
Only recently there was a wonderful short documentary on how Parisiennes are creating gardens on pavements outside their apartment buildings and encouraged by the council to do so.
Success is the incremental implementation of good decisions and good decisions arise from good questions. It doesn’t necessarily happen overnight. Projects fail because the people running them lose focus, trust and motivation.
I am sure this could be rescued from the jaws of humiliation. I would love to see this finished and blooming. I would like it even more if there was a mediation suite at one end of the bridge because I guarantee that nearly all disputes would result in agreement by the time I had walked with each party to the other side of the bridge and back again.
I can just imagine tapping in with my Oyster Card …