£26bn regeneration project will look at using canal as resource

The proposed Grand Union Park at the heart of the development
The proposed Grand Union Park at the heart of the development

Design, engineering and project management consultancy Atkins has been appointed to help make London’s largest opportunity area – the £26bn Old Oak and Park Royal – one of the most sustainable urban developments in the UK.

With the aim of pushing targets beyond those of the existing London Plan, Atkins will integrate green infrastructure with urban planning and design, and exploit emerging smart technologies. The Grand Union Canal, which runs through the site, will play a key role, providing water for use in toilets, irrigation and cleaning, and possibly cooling buildings in the summer. It will also be the focus for landscaped open spaces for art, leisure and community activities at the heart of the development.

Six core areas will be tackled:

· urban form and public space – densities and form of properties, public realm, use of the canal, air quality and future climate impacts such as temperature, wind and storms;

· transport – rail and bus systems, movement within the development area, demand, roads, mode share and interaction with watercourses and green space;

· energy – district heating / cooling, demand reduction, renewables, energy from waste (rubbish, sewerage);

· waste and materials – waste reduction / recycling, designed to enable disassembly and upgrade to extend life of building, energy efficiency of buildings;

· water – water management system (supply, collection, treatment, reuse), rainwater harvesting, flood risk management;

· green/blue infrastructure – access to nature, water courses, food production, green spaces, green roofs and walls.

Atkins will work with the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) and its cost and project management consultancy, Faithful+Gould.

Sean Lockie, sustainability director at Faithful+Gould, said: ‘Old Oak and Park Royal is a massive opportunity for London to do things that haven’t been done before. It means creating a vision which sets out clear goals, such as being healthy to live in, flexible over time, affordable, comfortable, and being energy and resource efficient, and then taking a systematic approach to delivery. We’ll need to come up with some new business models to achieve this but in doing so we have a great opportunity to make a real difference to people’s lives.’

Atkins will be running stakeholder engagement workshops with OPDC, developers and local boroughs until August, with the final sustainability report due in September.

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