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Experts from Kew to help improve the Square

May 2020

Through the 11 design principles tested and approved by the community, we have pledged that the redesign of Grosvenor Square will create a more biodiverse, natural haven in the centre of London.

This will benefit residents of Mayfair and future visitors by ensuring Grosvenor Square contributes more significantly to the local environment and air quality improvements. For all visitors it will also create a renewed connection with nature and horticulture, ensuring that visiting the re-designed Square will be an immersive experience, engaging with all the senses.

This transformation will be delivered through the astute conservation of existing natural assets in the square and enriching new design elements. To understand the extent of existing assets in the square, and risks to them, we are now working with experts from Royal Botanic Garden Kew, based at Wakehurst, Kew’s wild botanic garden in Sussex.

The team will work with us for the duration of the project, researching, modelling and guiding the design proposals against our promise to create a biodiverse, natural haven in the city and measure net gain as the implemented design develops and beds in.

Ed Green, Project Director at Grosvenor commented: “We want Grosvenor Square to be an environmental and horticultural haven in the very centre of London. The opportunity to work with a team at the forefront of natural capital research globally is exceptionally exciting and their guidance will help us maximise the natural capital of the square for the benefit of all.

"We will use their findings to inform and influence our design proposals and also to better explain our approach to local communities. We also hope this research can help others in the future understand more about how to deliver the most benefit to their cities from green space.”

Located in the heart of Sussex, Wakehurst is Kew’s second botanic garden and home to the Millennium Seed Bank. Established by RBG Kew in 1965, over 50 years of high-quality land management has fostered favourable habitats, notable biodiversity and an internationally significant living plant collection.

Kew’s 350 scientists offer world-class research expertise and the new Landscape Ecology programme at Wakehurst will research ecosystem services: the benefits nature gives us, in rural landscapes and urban environments like Grosvenor Square. They will model a range of Grosvenor Square’s ecosystem services, from the provision of habitat for pollinating insects to the regulation of temperature through the shade of trees, demonstrating the value of a diverse, healthy landscape to society.

Ed Ikin, Deputy Director and Head of Landscape and Horticulture for Wakehurst, added “This is a wonderful opportunity to explore the value of publicly accessible urban green space and understand how nature can improve the environment and the lives of those who experience it. We’re excited to be working with Grosvenor and deploying RBG Kew’s research expertise in the city”

All Kew’s findings will be published on this website and presented at future public events.