University of Manchester begins the re-greening of its campus
If you’ve been watching major developments across the University of Manchester’s campus of late you mat have come to the conclusion that it’s open season on anything with bark and leaves. Now you’ll be glad to discover that the University’s policy of planting three trees for everyone that’s removed during their masterplan redevelopment is about to start being delivered.
As a partner in the Manchester City of Trees programme, the University has publicly committed itself to retaining the green within the grey of new development programmes, and is working with the City of Trees team on a plan to make new planting happen.
Also this week it has unveiled new plans for a parkland, right in the heart of the campus, designed by the talented team at landscape architecture practice Planit-IE.
Based around Brunswick Street, a large area will be extensively landscaped creating ‘Brunswick Park’, the largest green space on the campus with the proposals including tree planting, wildflower planting, seating areas, pedestrian and cycle paths.
The opportunity has arisen as a result of the Cross City bus corridor works along Oxford Road, which will close the western end of Brunswick Street to vehicles later this year meaning the route will no longer be used by through traffic.
The street, which is lined on both sides by University buildings, is a hub for staff and students but will remain a public pedestrian and cycle route with improved pathways providing a better connection between Oxford Road and Upper Brook Street and forming an important gateway to the campus.
“These proposals form a centrepiece of our vision and will create a heart of the University campus for staff, students, visitors and the local community to enjoy.”
As well as providing spaces for meeting, relaxation and contemplation, the proposals would create a central space for large-scale campus events such as graduation and Welcome Week. Its prime location also provides an impressive setting for the University’s historic buildings along Oxford Road including the Whitworth Hall and the Queen’s Arch.
“These proposals form a centrepiece of our vision and will create a heart of the University campus for staff, students, visitors and the local community to enjoy,” said Diana Hampson, Director of Estates.
“The University is transforming the campus through its £1 billion Campus Masterplan and that includes a commitment to environmental sustainability by improving our green spaces and public realm. These proposals form a centrepiece of our vision and will create a heart of the University campus for staff, students, visitors and the local community to enjoy.”
The work will start later in 2016, and will be one of a number of green space schemes across campus which also include a new ‘pocket park’ to accompany the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre development.
The Brunswick Park designs are by Altrincham-based Planit-IE whose work can be seen in some of the best bits of public realm across the city region, such as Sadlers Yard in NOMA or the shared space success story to be found at Poynton’s village centre which was a collaboration with Civic Engineers.
Contributed by Ricki Unger
Contributed by Matthew Millett
Steve is co-founder and CEO of Creative Concern. He specialises in ethical and sustainability issues, integrated campaigns, city strategies, brand development and creating strange installations out of trees, lights and beautiful type. Particular areas of expertise include climate change, place making, transport, food issues and the natural environment.