Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park’s biodiversity praised

PUBLISHED: 15:07 29 August 2016

London Assembly member Leonie Cooper is launching an investigation into biodiversity

London Assembly member Leonie Cooper is launching an investigation into biodiversity


Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park’s nature and biodiversity has been hailed by the chair of the London Assembly’s environment committee, Leonie Cooper.

Leonie Cooper with Unmesh DesaiLeonie Cooper with Unmesh Desai

The comments came at the launch of an investigation into how future housing developments can learn from successful sites and incorporate nature into their design.

“The Olympic Park is a great example of a place that includes green areas in its design,” she said.

“I can remember when the area was factories. It was dirty and didn’t feel particularly safe, especially at night.

“It’s completely different now, and I don’t know if it would have happened if the Olympic opportunity had not come about.”

Ms Cooper, a Labour politician elected as the Merton and Wandsworth representative, said the investigation was important for the long-term future of the capital.

“We need to look at where we want to be in 2050,” she said.

“If it’s all flats and no green space, that won’t be a nice place to live.

“A lot of people that live in flats don’t have gardens, but incorporating green space into developments is good for people, and good for nature.”

Ms Cooper cited cities such as Malmo, Copenhagen and Seattle as having good examples of biodiversity in housing projects.

She added that she wanted to hear from people about other sites that worked well, such as in Stratford, and ones which didn’t work so well.

“I’ve spoken to Unmesh Desai, the London Assembly member for the area, and also to the LLDC,”she said.

“It’s good to get an idea of it from people who know the area well.”

She also praised Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park’s ability to attract visitors for a variety of purposes.

She said: “I was there in the day to enjoy the nature and then I came back at night to watch the West Ham game.

“It’s good to see it being used, it’s not a white elephant like other Olympic venues.”

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