Aside from improving area aesthetics, the scheme has been praised for its positive social impact. Neil Haggertay, Crime Reduction Officer at Lambeth Council says: “I supported the re-development of the site from the beginning as it was a key site for anti-social behaviour and crime. The new look gardens and signage has improved the area and eliminated the vast majority of the issues previously faced. It is without doubt a major success story.”
Looking at the bigger picture — this whole scheme has been funded by advertising revenues. How great would it be if advertising boards worldwide could be used to greenify our cities? Clever urban design; financially supported by advertising companies could promote healthier, happier places.
Between 2010 and 2018, core government funding for Lambeth is being cut by 56%. This is, and will no doubt, continue to reduce the councils abilities to provide essential services; including funding for community groups and street maintenance. Is corporate investment of the public realm a viable way of promoting urban happiness? In times of austerity, there is real debate to be had surrounding the role of corporate entities in branding the urban environment.