My proposal for Peckham would be to introduce more greenery and art areas. It would be beneficial to focus on the commercial areas and how they can be improved through urban agriculture. Can having more nature improve our cities?
Peckham is a very diverse ethnic area, within the area there are many different ethnic restaurants and takeaways. Within the UK, we know that 40% of our food is imported. An idea I want to propose was that there could be communal or private gardens designated to different cuisines. Restaurant or takeaway owners could grow their own ethnic crops right in the area where they sell it or create their dishes. The produce would be fresh, and the owners know exactly where it has come from, and what has gone into the production of these vegetables (chemicals, fertilisers etc). It would be a good opportunity to create new jobs for those who want to employ someone to tend the crops.
With residential communal gardens, it could also be an opportunity to help feed the those in need but also acts as an educational point for the younger generation to learn essential skills. Not only would this bring more exotic foods to the UK, but it would also reduce traffic pollution and lesson the need for long-distance imports.
With growing vegetables in city, it could generate the opportunity for better waste management schemes. Food waste could be used for compost, making natural fertiliser for the crops. It would mean that no grown food goes to waste, it could also generate profit if there is an abundance of fertiliser that can be sold to other companies.
Peckham is a suburban area, so it is dominated by concrete, metal, and brick. There is not much greenery within this area, even where there is empty space. When making the city greener, there would need to be better pathways that are easy to navigate. Thus, making it safer for children and the elderly. More nature would reduce pollution making the air cleaner. An increased amount of green space would encourage exercise and opportunities for pitches and courts to be implemented.
An important aspect of Peckham shops is that they have large openings into the store rather than a small door. This makes the area more inviting and allows the owners to put their goods closer to the public. It engages with the public better than what a small, enclosed space does. This should be an aspect of Peckham that is embraced rather than changed.
Art within Peckham should be embraced. There isn’t a single area in Peckham where you can look and not see artistic expression. Certain areas could be used for design, encouraging the people of the city to express themselves. This can be done by implementing buildings or walls dedicated to expression. If it is displayed in one place it can become and installation artwork area where the work can be appreciated by locals. Perhaps companies can be encouraged to commission local artists to paint relevant images to the shutters on their shops when they are closed.
Peckham is a high traffic area and there are a lot of pedestrians in this area throughout the days. Making safer, perhaps wider pathways would be a safer option. If there are direct links between different places, it would make it safer for pedestrians to navigate different places. If there are less areas for cars, it would reduce potential collisions.