Monday 4 December 2017 Following our trip to Bonnington Square we headed over to City Hall where we’d been invited to a ‘Hostile Streets’ event, reporting on a series of visits to Outer London junctions. Host Caroline Russell, London Assembly Member, stated that ‘one of the most extreme cases was in Brentford’ where she was stuck in the middle of fast-flowing traffic, with children who use the crossing on a daily basis for school. We asked if traffic on the A4 could be reduced to 30mph to help improve air quality and to improve safety through the residential area. The report lists decreasing traffic speed as one possible measure in improving such roads and this is now in the hands of TfL to consider. John Dales, from Urban Movement and a trustee of Living Streets, chaired the meeting and being local, is also keen to improve conditions on the A4. Dr Rachel Aldred, a Reader in Transport at the University of Westminster, had been looking at the risk factors involved. Lucy Saunders, from TfL said that their approach was to create ‘Healthy Streets’ which has an impact on all people. The Hostile Streets report can be read here – Brentford made it on to the front cover…..
Monday 4 December 2017 We invited our Brentford Councillors to visit Bonnington Square with us to experience in person this amazing green enclave on the outskirts of a busy traffic zone. Taking the train from Brentford to Vauxhall, we walked through the tunnel at South Lambeth Place, across the road and down Langley Lane. Already containers of all shapes and sizes sat outside homes, overflowing with plants. Space had been made around the bases of trees to plant grasses, shrubs and palms. The garden at the centre of Bonnington Square has made full use of the space, transforming it in to a haven of calm for all to use. Residents around the square have fully embraced the value of green infrastructure and have integrated plants wherever possible, bringing life to otherwise uninspiring streets. It’s great to see how the square changes throughout the year – see our September trip here.
Our aim is to make Brentford’s streets and spaces a lot greener to help mitigate the harmful effects of traffic pollution, by adding shrubs, bushes, hedges, trees and planting wherever possible. Hope you’ll join us in this venture!!
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04 Autumn 2017 newsletter
September/October 2017 This seems to be the time of year for funding applications and we have applied for CiL funding from Hounslow Council and a small forum grant to see if we can help improve the green infrastructure in Brentford. We hope that some of our applications are successful.
The projects we have in mind are:
1) Hedge or living wall at the railings in between Middlesex Court, Glenhurst Road, Brentford and the busy A4 traffic, see above. We have spoken with TfL about planting here to help mitigate the harmful effects of air pollution from the traffic, both for the residents of Middlesex Court and also the neighbouring residential roads beyond. It’s possible that TfL could help with match-funding this as this is their land. Continue reading
7 July 2017 Back in the summer on a very warm and balmy day we invited the campaign group Doctors Against Diesel over to Brentford to answer questions from children at Green Dragon Primary School. Ezra Hinds kindly agreed to do the filming and another volunteer, Magred Pryce is now doing the post-production for this short film. As a follow-up from one of our mini-talks on air pollution, children from the school council discussed the issues with Doctor Norrice Liu, Paediatrician at Queen Mary University. We had a really fun morning together and are looking forward to seeing the final film. We’ll make this available to all local schools and online to help raise awareness of the issues of air pollution and more specifically how it impacts the health of children. Read more about Doctors Against Diesel‘s campaign here.
Tues 10 Oct 2017 We met with two post-graduate students Max Grell, Michael Kasimatis and Dr Firat Güder from the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College London to discuss an App they are working on called Blakbear (www.BlakBear.com), which measures pollutants in air using a phone sticker. This nifty device will have the ability to track data and create a personalised graph to indicate how much pollution you have been exposed during a specific journey or time period. We discussed ways we could work together and hope to have a school event in the new year.
Bonnington Square is an inspiration. Just seconds from the busy main roads around Vauxhall station stands a community-lead garden which spills out with infectious abundance on to the surrounding roads. Every opportunity to plant under trees has been taken, road corners transformed in to islands with palm trees and lush green planting. The results of this effort is a haven away from the urban traffic just at the end of the street. The plants naturally help to clean the air by trapping sticky particulates and converting CO2 to O2 for our benefit. It’s a beautiful, tranquil environment which make you want to be outside. Some tips perhaps for making Brentford a greener place to live…