Waltham Forest Council, alongside its digital engagement partner Commonplace, won a Pineapple Award (on Tuesday 9th July) at the Festival of Place.
The award, which celebrates the contribution of a development project in the UK to a specific location was awarded to the council for its Enjoy Waltham Forest programme.
The council’s programme received acclaim from the judges because of its ability to transform the place in which people live through the delivery of new walking, cycling and public spaces. The judges noted that it was unusual to recognise a project that was made up of many smaller schemes, but that the dramatic improvements to the place alongside the depth and commitment to public engagement set it apart.
Councillor Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader of Waltham Forest Council and Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “We always knew that Enjoy Waltham Forest was not just a highways improvement project, but a radical programme to create a better place. So, it’s with great pride that the Festival of Place has recognised this, against stiff opposition from some of the best private and public development projects in the UK.”
The programme transformed the road network and improved air quality by creating less congested neighbourhoods, building more than 26km of segregated cycle lanes, constructing 15 new pocket parks and planting in excess of 700 new trees.
Mike Saunders, CEO of Commonplace said: “It is a privilege to have worked with Waltham Forest for five years on this programme and help them reach over 50,000 people during the programme. Keeping the community at the heart of the project has enabled them to achieve this transformation.”
Last year a report by King’s College London found that the air quality improvements made through the Enjoy Waltham Forest programme had significantly contributed to extending the life expectancy of children born in Waltham Forest since 2013 by up to six weeks, and the additional health benefits of more active lifestyles also contributed to adding another six to seven weeks of life expectancy for residents. A report by Air Quality Consultants also found that in 2007 there were more than 56,000 households in the borough exposed to more than the EU recommended amount of Nitrogen Dioxide, which had reduced by 90 per cent in 2017, to just 6,300 households.
This is the third award the programme has scooped in recent months, having previously been awarded the Clean Air in Towns and Cities Award at the international Ashden Awards and well as the Transport for Planning award at the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation Awards.