Long Island Construction Law does not own this content. This content was created by Peter Wilson and was published to the New York Times on September 19th, 2022.
Just south of the River Thames in the heart of London, the whine and hammering of construction mingles with the laughter of children playing in a park behind Elephant and Castle, one of the city’s largest and ugliest road junctions.
This is Elephant Park, a three-acre plot of fountains, swings and slides and open space at the center of a large redevelopment which has seen the Brutalist architecture of a 1,200-home public housing estate replaced by a new neighborhood that by 2026 will hold about 2,924 apartments and townhouses.
About two thousand units are already occupied, and the residents who walk their dogs in the park or watch their children playing seem happy to chat about the normal issues surrounding regeneration projects, such as the fate of the previous residents and whether the gentrification will drive away noisy youths who still loiter in the park after dark.
One resident walking her dog complained recently that her rent is becoming unaffordable, before quickly adding that she is delighted to have a supermarket and gym in the same building as her one-bedroom apartment, with rail and Underground stations right next door and shops, bars, a yoga studio, a library and medical facilities sprinkled through the development.
But another debate is drawing extra attention to Elephant Park: the role of large scale urban renewal projects like this in fighting climate change.