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Connecting the Elephant

Elephant and Castle in South London is an important junction for several major transport routes. In consultation with the community, Southwark Council created a master-plan for the large scale regeneration of the area which will involve demolition and rebuilding of homes, shops and roads. We successfully acquired funding from the Esmee Fairburn foundation for a project which looked at the impact this regeneration would have on the walking routes of the local communities.

With Southwark Living Streets we set up a group of local people ‘The Connecting the Elephant Street Forum' who ran a series of street audits along key pedestrian routes. These audits looked at potential improvements to the local area from the pedestrian's perspective. Participants in the audits commented that their involvement had raised their awareness of street issues, made them feel more empowered on the streets.

During the audits the group identified ‘The Green Garter', a walking route that circuits the Elephant and Castle, taking in existing green space and highlighting places of interest. Along with the Connecting the Elephant Street Forum we researched, developed and promoted this walk which includes Georgian squares, a Henry Moore sculpture and some of London's first social housing. The Green Garter has lived beyond our involvement in the project; The Ramblers Association now leads very popular walks around the route, and it is being promoted by Southwark Living Streets. Elephant Links have included the Green Garter in their set of ‘Unusual Walks around Elephant and Castle' booklets.

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