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M A rc h 7 0 0 4 / 3 U r b a n D e s i g n A n a l y s i s An Urban Regeneration Masterplan for Birkenhead S . Akinsanya // A . Douka // F . Hong



// CONTENTS BIRKENHEAD

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BUILDINGS & SPACES OF NOTE

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LAND USE

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DESIGN STUDIES

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POCKETS OF POTENTIAL

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PROGRAMME OF USE

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POCKETS OF POTENTIAL

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THE MASTERPLAN

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THE VIEWING TOWER

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FIGURE GROUNDS & PATHS

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PHASING

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SECTIONS

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ZONES

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SCHEDULE OF DEMOLITION

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APPENDIX

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BIRKENHEAD Liverpool

The River Mersey

Birkenhead

This report has been produced as a fifth year MArch Architectural study into Urban regeneration, focusing on Birkenhead’s abandoned Waterfront. Located to the east of the Wirral, lay the fragmented threads of the Urban fabric of Birkenhead. The historic town was once a bustling ship port and boasted an affluent ship building industry, but with economic changes over the years, Birkenhead simply has never been able to keep up, and with it’s neighbour Liverpool having exploded into an economic powerhouse over the last 100 years and the rest of The Wirral having been renown for it’s lush green landscapes, Birkenhead is now simply a commuter town.

With the population of Birkenhead having depleted dramatically from nearly 84,000 in 2001 to around 15,879 today, and with so much domestic migration out of Birkenhead (mostly to Liverpool, Chester and Sefton), it is obvious that a tide of change is needed to illuminate a town that has so much Urban potential to be successful. “In a Society becoming steadily more privatized with private homes, cars, computers, offices and shopping centers, the public component of our lives is disappearing. It is more and more important to make the cities inviting, so we can meet our fellow citizens face to face and experience directly through our senses. Public life in good quality public spaces is an important part of a democratic life and a full life”1

1. Jan Gehl “Life Between Buildings: Using Public Space”

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QUEENSWAY TUNNEL VENTILATION SHAFT

HAMILTON SQUARE WOODSIDE FERRY TERMINAL

MARITIME AND ENGINEERING COLLEGE: NORTH WEST

HAMILTON SQUARE STATION

BIRKENHEAD PRIORY

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BUILDINGS & SPACES OF NOTE

THE CAMMELL LAIRD


PRIVATE PUBLIC RESIDENTIAL

PUBLIC GREEN SPACE PRIVATE GREEN SPACE DISUSED GREEN SPACE

LAND USE

GREEN SPACE

Land use in Birkenhead is mostly a mixture of Private businessses and residential properties, however around our chosen site which runs from the Ferry Terminal to the Priory as an interlinking walkway, there is a distinct lack of both residential and public spaces with the site being fringed by mostly industrial buildings.

Despite Birkenhead being located in The Wirral, which is renown for its lush green landscapes, it lacks public green areas for leisure, the area surrouding the site only has one green space, Hamilton Square. The Victorian promenade style design of Hamilton Square has led it to become a beautiful space to walk through, but not to stay in.

The structure and layout of the spaces surrounding the site has led to a strong private / public dissonance and has created multiple unfriendly and aesthetically displeasing zones.

The other green spaces around the site are private or disused, and like the land use map to the left, it also illustrates the strong public / private paradox that echoes throughout Birkenhead as a whole.

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WASHINGTON SQUARE PLAZA This study for the treatment of the future subway extension to North Beach takes into consideration the historic value of the neighborhood and existing park, and attempts to create an improved pedestrian experience while minimizing the impact on the community. The proposed plaza replaces a small, inaccessible landscaped area and a short section of Powell Street, creating a unified pedestrian plaza containing the primary subway entrance, public seating, a public lawn, and outdoor dining areas for the existing restaurants.

DESIGN STUDIES 8

LES BERGES SUR LA SEINE The Promenade des Berges de la Seine is a public park and promenade located along the left bank of the Seine river in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, between the Pont de l’Alma and the Musée d’Orsay. The promenade, created on the former highway that ran along the left bank, includes five floating gardens, planted atop barges, plus exhibition areas, performance and classroom spaces, playgrounds, sports facilities and cafes. Begun in 2008, it was opened by Mayor Bertrand Delanoë on June 19, 2013. Everything in the park can be dismantled and moved within 24 hours if the water of the river rises too high

SHIPPING CONTAINERS Shipping containers range from large reusable steel boxes used for intermodal shipments to the ubiquitous corrugated boxes. 1. Guillaume Noiseux and Guillaume Sasseville opened Porchetta Box, a temporary restaurant in Montreal during the summer of 2012. 2. Tucked in a corner of the Old Port in Montreal is Muvbox, a portable restaurant that unfold from a sleek rectangular shape into a beautiful modern cafe with

outdoor and a

tables canopy.

3. Hellmann’s mayonnaise company opened a 45-square-meter restaurant to serve free sandwiches for a day in Copenhagen, Denmark.


PARC LA VILLETTE

INDUSTRIAL TOURISM

Parc La Villette has become known as an unprecendented type of park, one based on culture rather than nature.

A municipal facility that gives both residents and visitors the opportunity to see the activities of the Port of Kawasaki firsthand.

The park is located on one of the last remaining large site in Paris. In addition to the masterplan, the project involved the design and construction of over 25 buildings, promenades, convered walkways, bridges, and landscaped gardens over a period of 15 years.

Kawasaki Marien has two towers that are connected at the top floors. Visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of Tokyo Bay from an observation deck located 51 meters above the ground.

FISHING HUTS Niall McLaughlin’s Fishing Hut in Hampshire won the RIBA national award in 2015. The hut is a timber framed and clad construction on galvanised steel supports whic hovers over a lake, intended for use as a retreat for fishermen and as a place for the owner’s family to unwind. The building ‘hunkers down’ in winter, and opens up in Spring to become delicate slats allowing light to pass through the hut.

A system of disperesed red enamled steel folies represent various cultural and leisurely actibities that are super imposed

on a system of lines that emphasize movement throughout the park.

DESIGN STUDIES 9


POCKETS OF POTENTIAL Cities and towns are for people, therefore the ultimate aim of this project was to protect the genus loci of the area and work tightly with the existing urban fabric of Birkenhead, and regenerate it’s neglected waterfront. The three aspects of space that we aimed to tackle in our project were: the geometric, the physical and the phenomenal, particularly focusing on the phenomenology of space within the site, and focusing on the human experience of architecture, space and greenery.

“There’s nothing much to do in Birkenhead that’s probably why we moved to Liverpool in the end. Mum got a new job too” 1 Whilst doing our site analysis we realised from both social media and first person perspective that one of the biggest issues with Birkenhead was lack of job opportunity and lack of free leisure facilities.

Low Human Flow Lack Of Spaces to Gather in No Community Spirit Lack of Leisure Facilities Distinct Zoning & Barriers

1. Grace Heaton, former Birkenhead resident and student at The Univeristy of Liverpool

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High human flow with tourist interaction Green open spaces to gather and socialise in Interspersed leisure facilities to encourage conversation.

No Intergration

Challenging the issue of zoning

Dull disused spaces

Vibrant waterfront


PROPOSED PROGRAMME OF USE -Library -Bookshops -Workshop -Visitor/Viewing Tower

-Grocery Markets -Flower Markets -Retail Shops -Allotments/Green Spaces -Coffee Houses -Restaurants

-Football Court -Sports Centre -External Amphitheatre -Food & Beverages -Smaller on site activities -Pavilions

The Urban Park we are proposing, will mainly be focusing on three different sectors; Education, Leisure and Retail. Our aim is to boost the already existing maritime college by providing facilities for the students, but also for the visitors that are interested in this particular subject, through the bookshops, the workshop, but also the viewing tower that are mainly there to let people learn how a ship can be built. Furthermore, we want to encourage people to exercise and this is why we are providing different sports facilities throughout the site. Of course, exercise is not our only aim; we want to create a site full of life and this is why we want to provide a variety of activities and opportunities to our visitors, in order to experience our proposal in the best suitable way. A performing stage, coffee houses, restaraunts and many other smaller on site activities are there for everyone who is qurious to explore our extended park. A few retail shops, along with some markets, allotments and a green house come to compliment the on site activities and let the visitors admire the amazing panoramic view Birkenhead offers towards Liverpool and The Wirral. 11 11


POCKETS OF POTENTIAL One of the main things we realised about Birkenhead was a distinct lack of coherancy in regards to services, and a lack of spaces for gathering. The only two spaces that had a high human flow were the Waterfront and Hamilton square, so therefore it was imperative that our project included areas for people to use for leisure freely and openly, and that the project was walkable so as to be inclusive for people from all walks of life. Realising early on that the space along the waterfront was a veritable treasure trove of interesting pockets of potential. From a large foliage filled disused green area, to a link to The Priory.. The space between the Ferry Terminal and The Priory became the main area of focus, taking into consideration all the future plans for The Wirral in the years to come, we desvised an inclusive masterplan that respects the existing context and weaves seamlessly with the current urban fabric and the proposed urban fabric for the years to come.

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Tower

The Priory

Themed Alley

Allotments

Rosebrae Path

The Knowledge Quarter

Fishing Huts

Housing

Walkway

The Ferry Terminal

THE MASTERPLAN

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THE MASTERPLAN

ROSEBRAE PATH

THE FERRY TERMINAL The area surrounding the Ferry Terminal will be redisgned to create a more inviting space .

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Rosebrae path and the rest of the walkways surrounding the site will be redesigned to incorporate green boulevards and urban furniture.

ALLOTMENTS

WALKWAY The wider of the walk ways will house re-usable kiosks and cafe’s that will be rented out for a small fee and encourage interaction, rest and leisure.

The Park will house allotments and a large greenhouse to allow the community to grow and farm together, sharing knowledge and enhancing community ties.


ALLEYS & CORRIDOORS

HOUSING The green space around the housing development on site will be opened up to challenge ideas of public and private space and create more of a community environment.

To prevent the spaces between the buildings becoming dark and looming, we’ve proposed themed alleys that will have snippets of The Wirral’s history ingrained in them

THE KNOWLEDGE QUARTER

FISHING HUTS The site hosts a lot of fishermen who fish on a leisurely basis, we have proposed a series of fishing huts to protect them from the weather conditions and the water of the River Mersey.

The area surrounding the Maritime college and offices will be redevloped to create a more inclusive area that breaks the boundaries of the industrial zoning of the area.

THE TOWER The proposed viewing tower will act as start and finish point to the project mirroring the Queensway Tunnel shaft opposite it. It will house workshops, learning centre’s a cafe, and will reflect Birkenhead’s rich industrial ship building history and promote tourism in the area.

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THE VIEWING TOWER Industrial tourism is becoming more and more popular with the world’s fast changing economics. The ship building industrial heritage of Birkenhead shaped by the famous Cammell Laird is slowly being forgotten with the increase in infrastructural zoning. We’ve proposed a viewing tower with leisure facilities for both young and old alike. The tower works in collaboration with the Priory, The Maritime College and It’s surrounding library. The tower offers a 360 degree panoramic view of Birkenhead,The Cammell Laird, The River Mersey, and Liverpool’s Waterfront.

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THE VIEWING TOWER The shape and form of the structure was formed after careful analysis of it’s surrounding spaces, in particular The Priory which should be retained as a tourist and community gem. The platform at the base of the building will host a library, an information centre, a kids play area, a small museum that links to The Priory and a small cafe. The top of the building will host a 360 degree panoramic view of Birkenhead and it’s surroundings, particularly the famous Cammell Laird. It will also host a fine dining restaurant. BUILDING FOOTPRINT

PATH & ROUTE TO TOP

PROGRAMME

FINAL MASSING

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FIGURE GROUNDS & PATHS

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PUBLIC REALM

PEDESTRIAN PATHS

BIKE PATH

VEHICULAR PATHS

We’ve worked to continue the existing urban grid of Birkenhead and continue all paths and walkways so that they lead to the waterfront in a more natural and unobtrusive manner.

The pedestrian pathways have been set out so as to allow the walker to experience all of the site using all five human senses. The paths are wide enough for multiple use and will house pop up cafe’s and urban furniture for public use and enjoyment.

The bike paths have been set out so that they will not obstruct pedestrians, but there will still be a clear effort to integrate to the two in a bid to encourage the both to communicate with each other.

Vehicular paths and roads to the site have been minimized so as to keep up with our green agenda and reduce our carbon footprint and encourage people to live more healthy vibrant lives by exercising and walking or cycling more.

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PHASE 2

PHASE 3

PHASING PLANS

PHASE 2

PHASE 3

Phase 2 of the masterplan will work on improving the walkway along the waterfront north of the site. The disused and mismatched industrial spaces highlighted above in pink will be demolished and rebuilt as a stronger industrial zone, high quality office spaces and residential flats will also be built so as to bring more people and a better economy to the area.

Phase 3 of the masterplan will work on creating a link from Hamilton Square to the waterfront, aiming to reshape the space around the square itself to maximise the pedestrian spaces and make it an area of tourist and community interaction and integration.

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SECTIONS THROUGH PEDESTRIAN WALKWAYS

VARIES MINIMUM 5500 1500

PARK

URBAN SEAT

VARIES MINIMUM 3250

BOULEVARD

TYPICAL BOULEVARD / WALKWAY SECTION

20400

2400

SHIPPING CONTAINER STORE

2400

9600

DINING

BOULEVARD

PLAZA SECTION

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6000

PAVILION

750

TREE/ LAMP POST/ DECORATION/ BIN


SITE ELEVATION

SECTION THROUGH PARK

BUILDING FOOTPRINT AREA BY PROGRAM EDUCATION Maritime College: 4370m2 Library: 720m2 Visitor Centre & Workshop: 460m2 RETAIL Food & Beverage: 432 m2 Florist: 72m2 Green Store: 144m2

AGRICULTURAL Greenhouse: 375m2 Allotments: 365m2 LEISURE Stage: 560m2 Sports Centre: 2045m2 Public Square: 23000m2 Pub

PATHWAY Pedestrian Pathway: 7364m2

DESIGN STUDIES

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ZONES & AREAS

THE FERRY TERMINAL The start of the journey. A revitalised and revisited approach to create a more welcoming and interesting point for both tourists and residents

THE GREEN AREA A series of interwoven paths and routes with a large multiuse green park that encourages social inteaction and inclusion

THE KNOWLEDGE QUARTER A designated area that houses industrial offices, the viewing tower, the new maritime college, and varying green spaces as well as an external amphitheathre 2222


SCHEDULE OF DEMOLITION The Pockets Of Potential proposal will mainly focus on green infrastructure, providing an increased quality of life through varied and interspersed leisurely activities, spaces and allotments, whilst tackling the excessive amount of carparks and underutilised landscaping in the area. Demolition in the project is kept to a minimum in the proposal, due to the contextually sensitive nature of the proposal. The only area that required anintervention was the area surrounding the Maritime college and the offices, the area was filled with excessive amounts of car parking spaces and poorly designed sparsely filled patches of green space.

Road

The masterplan will begin with the restructuring of the areas illustrated to the right, and will end with the rebuilding of the new Maritime College, the offices, and a new square to encourage interaction, all of which will be named The Knowledge Quarter. Office Car Parking

Phase 1A Electricity and water supply (for allotments and water fountain) to be supplied so that any ground hacking will be minimized in the future. Phase 1B Existing waterfront pedestrian walkway and some carparks to be paved. Phase 1C Elements that are not time-consuming such as water fountains ,allotments, kids’ playground, trees, decorative lamp posts and railings along waterfront walkway to be installed.

Maritime College Car Park

Phase 1D Construction of sports center and redevelopment of Maritime College, Construc library and visitor tower. Poorly designed building

Underutilised green space

Phase 1D: Improving the existing urban conditions.

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// APPENDIX


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// CONTENTS POLICY

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SUSTAINABILITY & GREEN

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COSTING APPRAISAL

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DESIGN STRATEGY

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CONCLUSION

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

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POLICY “The purpose of the planning system is to contribute to the achievement of sustainable design.”

During the design process of this project, local policy was always taken into consideration so as to achieve the visions of Liverpool City Council with the following strategic objectives:

The purpose of planning is to aid in achieving healthy, sustainable developments that will be useful for years to come. On a whole sustainable development is about positive growth - making economic,environmental, and social progress for this and future generations to come.

A Strong Economy – Rentable shipping container kiosks running as cafe’s, small scale restaurants and shops will provide jobs for the local community Allotments will also serve as a sustainable income generating tool for the locals.

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Our natural environment is essential to our wellbeing, and it can be better looked after than it has been. Habitats that have been degraded can be restored. Species that have been isolated can be reconnected. Green Belt land that has been depleted of diversity can be refilled by nature – and opened to people to experience it, to the benefit of body and soul. Our historic environment – buildings, landscapes, towns and cities can better be cherished if their spirit of place thrives, rather than withers. Our standards of design can be so much higher. We are a nation renowned worldwide for creative excellence, yet, at home, confidence in development itself has been eroded by the too frequent experience of mediocrity. So sustainable development is about positive growth – making economic, environmental and social progress for this and future generations. Planning policies support growth, and aids in creating jobs, prosperity, and create a sustainable, lively environment for the local people. Our scheme aims to develop the economy on a more humanistic scale and bring back the element of respect back to a town that has essentially been overrun with infrastructure and used as a passage to Liverpool and The Wirral.Developing Birkenhead’s waterfront creates a more inviting view and illuminates the site and it’s rich history, which in turn brings in visitors improving local economy and creating a valuable and tight knit community. 1. http:// www.udg.org.uk/sites/default/files/publications/udg-brieng-sheet-national-planning-policyframework.pdf

Residential Neighbourhoods That Meet Housing Needs - Extra residential development is in Phase 2 and 3 and spaced around the newly regenerated waterfront, boosting the prices around the area and creating a vibrant waterfront to rival the Albert Dock.The focus of Phase 1 is to enhance the quality of life around Priory Wharf, once this is sucessful, Phase 2 & 3 will follow suit, bringing people to the area. An Attractive and Safe City With A Strong Local Identity – By focusing St on the human scale and aspect of urban design, we’ve designed a project that creates links throughout the site and challenges the idea of public and private spaces, encouraging human interaction and creating an interlinking and interweaving walkway. The proposed visitor tower that illuminates the shipbuilding history of Birkenhead will provide information in regards to the Cammell Laird. It creates a new skyline across Birkenhead’s waterfront,to parallel Liverpool’s. waterf High Quality Green Infrastructure - Permeable paving will be used in the park to provide better rain water runoff; coastal trees have been selected in the design process, and the extisting trees on the park site will remain. Efficiently used Resources – The Pockets of Potential masterplan works within the existing urban fabric of Birkenhead to create high quality spaces with minmum disruption and effective and effcient use of the existing typologies. More Sustainable Accessibility – All areas in the development will be accessed easily by walking from one end to the other, carparks are mostly provided at the edge of the development so that those visit by vehicle can just walk a short distance to their desired destination, and Improved Social Inclusion and Equal Opportunities - One of the biggest factors that influenced the project was the community and radical inclusion factor which aims to break down zoning barriers, erase ideas of public and b private spaces and allow people of all shapes, sizes, ethinicities to mix with one another boosting social communication and inclusion.

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TREE & PLANT SCHEDULE

SUSTAINABILITY & GREEN

A brief selection of a few of the highly salt tolerant, and suitable for exposed site conditions, plants and trees to be used throughout the site, in addition to preserving the existing green spaces and foliage.

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DESIGN STRATEGY Birkenhead has a rich history offering some of Britain’s oldest parks and

We ultimately believe that Birkenhead has a brighter future ahead of it, as

buildings. However, these now go unnoticed and the industrial rise and fall of the cities now casts a gloomy shadow over the once illustrious and

do the government and The Wirral, so instead of tackling the issues on a larger scale, we’ve zoomed in so as to work on a more human level and

colourful ship building town.

bring back the element of human life to a place that currently resembles a ghost town.

The town seems to just be ‘getting by’, serving mostly as a commuter

By focusing our project on social and community integration rather than

town for people going to Chester, Liverpool or Dublin and most of all there lacks any desire to make a change. and create a liveable, self sus-

large scale retail projects or infrastructural projects is to first build a stronger identity for Birkenhead that works for people and is centered around

taining urban lifestyle, and the city is grappling with the issue of lack of

the users and allows visitors and residents alike to explore the site by foot

jobs and opportunity with majority of it’s young people moving across the

using their five senses, smell, touch, taste, sight, and hearing.

river to Liverpool to seek a better quality of life. “Birkenhead needs a reason to exist, and for people to invest in it. ‘Failed

The cultural and lesiure facilities are the starting point in the development of strong links with the community in the area, however the existence of these facilities alone do not ensure that the project will be a success. The most important part of the project and the entire process is to solve the issue of a disconnected waterfront, and create sucessful interwoven links throughout the site and with the community. Our project aims to respond to the needs and wishes of both the community sur rounding the waterfront, and the rest of The Wirral itself. The project will transform the pedestrian routes throughout the site and will be the catalyst for ongoing community interaction, striving to contrubute to the fulfilment of everyday life in Birkenhead.

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post-industrial town’ isn’t it. ‘Liverpool’s south bank’ could well be. The town (and Wallasey) is facing a fight for survival, of that there is little serious doubt. Unemployment runs at nearly twice the national average (at 6.6%). Long-term youth unemployment rose by 100% last year, and the towns’ shopping centres are little more than a procession of discount stores and payday loan sharks.” 1

The Pockets of potential masterplan works in collaboration with The Peel groups large Urban regeneration plan for the whole of Birkenhead and The Wirral. Our project works well and ties in with the ten key points that The Peel group wish to put forward as a part of their regeneration scheme, such as plans for more social inclusion, living a healthier life and creating a greener project.

1 http://www.sevenstreets.com/birkenhead-must-die-seven-reasons-why/


WIRRAL WATERS & PLANS FOR BIRKENHEAD Wirral Waters is a large scale £4.5bn development that has been proposed by The Peel Group for Birkenhead, on the Wirral Peninsula, England. It is the largest regeneration project in the UK. It is also set to become the most sustainable. It is centred on the Wirral Dock system, on the banks of the River Mersey, overlooking Liverpool’s world-class city waterfront.

KEY STRATEGY POINTS

The image below illustrates our project in relation to the Wirral Waters project.

WIRRAL WATERS

P.O.P MASTERPLAN

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WEST KOWLOON CULTURAL DISTRICT

EMERGING URBAN DESIGN IDEAS

“Over the last year, numerous cities have been seeking similar planning strategies to benefit pedestrians and bicyclists, rather than pollution-heavy car transit.”1

Urban planning and design has changed drastically over the last 100 years from infrastructure and vehicular aimed projects that echo the Victorian style industrial boom to the Jan Gehl style of walkable style design that encourages sustainable, vibrant cities. Worldwide changes over the years, particularly pertaining to environmental factors have seen urban design become more contextually aware and respectful of the natural environment. A good example of this is Foster + Partner’s West Kowloon Cultural District, which is currently the largest cultural initiative of its kind in the world. The project will establish a major centre for music, performing and visual arts on a dramatic harbour-fronted site in the heart of Hong Kong, bringing together places to live and work, with galleries, studios, shops, cafes and restaurants, the mixed-use district is designed to capture and recreate the energy and unique urban character of Hong Kong, integrating the cultural venues with the everyday life of the city.

1. http://architizer.com/blog/trends-of-2014/ 38


IN CONCLUSION...

In conclusion, the Pockets of Potential Masterplan is a thoroughly researched thread that will be interwoven into the fabric of Birkenhead working to enhance and protect the Genius Loci of the site, rather than overpowering it, and working on a smaller scale so as to really take in the needs and wants of the people. Community ties and social inclusion is at the heart of our project, and we worked using the Government’s Social Inclusion guide, in addition to Planning Policies and the aims of Government and of Local people for Birkenhead.

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This Masterplan could be the lifeline that Birkenhead has been holding out for.

1. http://www.sern.eu/sern/activities.html 39


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BBIBLIOGRAPHY & REFERENCES

BOOKS Gehl. J (2011) Life Between Buildings : Using Public Space. Island Press. Jacobs. J (1961) The Life & Death of Great American Cities. Modern Library Edition. Random House.

WEBSITES http://architizer.com/blog/trends-of-2014/ http://www.fosterandpartners.com/projects/west-kowloon-cultural-district/ http://gerrystreenursery.com/Salt-Tolerant-Trees.pdf https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/359358/socinc.pdf http://liverpool.gov.uk/council/strategies-plans-and-policies/environment-and-planning/plan-making-in-liverpool/lo cal-plan-documents/local-plan/ http://liverpool.gov.uk/planning-and-building-control/guidance-and-policies/ http://www.programmeofficers.co.uk/Liverpool/CD5/CD5.10.pdf http://www.sevenstreets.com/birkenhead-must-die-seven-reasons-why/ http://www.thompson-morgan.com/plants-for-coastal-gar41 dens