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Landscape London: A Guide to Recent Gardens, Parks and Urban Spaces

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REVIEW - LANDSCAPE BOOKS

Landscape London: A Guide to Recent Gardens, Parks and Urban Spaces By Charlotte Hare. ellipsis, 2001. 240pp. £10

In the usual ellipsis pocket-guide format, landscape architect Charlotte Hare looks at some 70 garden, park and public space schemes in the capital from the past 10 years, writes Andrew Mead . Though her text is not without errors (Gross Max becomes Max Gross, Niels Torp becomes Neils Thorp), and is primarily descriptive, Hare does not shrink from judgement. 'Like Farrell's architecture, Monkwell Square will probably not equate with most people's idea of 'taste'' she says, while muf 's bench-and-paving pilot scheme at Southwark 'has been hyped beyond belief ', and Colvin and Moggridge's rose garden in Hyde Park is 'the sort of garden that the punters love and designers love to hate'.

Mile End Park comes in for particular criticism, with Hare concluding that the thinking behind it is 'naive', the community consultation insufficient, and that - at a time when urban parks badly need investment - 'one of the most high-profile lottery projects has not helped the cause'. Groupe Signes and Patel Taylor's Thames Barrier Park (see left) seems, in design terms, a world away from almost everything else in the book. Hare acknowledges its quality, but is rightly concerned about its maintenance and present isolation.

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