Dickinson College Humanities Program in Norwich

London A Green Space?? Really??

September 20th, 2010 · 1 Comment

London is always described as a global city, a city of history, a city of movement. I have never heard it being described as a city of green space. So I was completely thrown off when I saw the number and magnitude of parks in the city. Literally in every community there is a park whether it’s a well off neighborhood or a less developed neighborhood; it has a park.

In Los Angeles, specifically in the area I live in there are hardly any parks or any parks that you really want to go to. Thus, it was a complete shock seeing such a populated city with so many parks that range in a variety of sizes and functions. The biggest that I have seen by far is Hyde Park. Hyde Park is right next to Buckingham Palace, making its size very logical. Its scenery ranges from fountains surrounded by beautifully well kept flower beds to fields and fields of grass and trees. This park is obviously surrounded by a lot of money to keep up its appearance as well as it is kept.

Around the area we are currently dwelling in, Russell Square is on a significantly smaller scale than Hyde Park but it is likewise surrounded by a well off community. The park is always well kept and sometimes sealed off to the public making access only available to those who live in the square. The park is used by children, yoga instructors, and readers in general. Overall there is a stark difference between life within this park and the surrounding fast pace community. It almost seemed that they have brought the suburb to the city.

Not all parks look as amazing as Hyde Park or Russell Square. In the East End, a community that is largely composed of immigrants from Bangladesh also have a community park, called Altab Ali Park. This park was the first I had seen at the time in London that was commemorating someone rather than being named after its location. Altab Ali was a young 25 year old Bangladeshi clothing worker who was murdered by three white teenage boys on his way home. Just learning about the nature of the name of the park gives you a different feeling about the surrounding community. The community in the East End is tightly knit but it is not necessarily based on their income but rather a form of protection to their neighbors. This park unlike the others is visibly un-kept and run down, a complete difference to those I have mentioned before. So even within British society I  see that with money comes political power, sad but true.

Tags: 2010 Jamie