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Greening the Heart of a City

Updated: Oct 2, 2021

An empty 1970s shopping centre in Nottingham could be transformed into wetlands, pocket woodlands and a wildflower meadow as part of a post-pandemic urban rewilding project that might just become the template for other cities to follow. For the benefit of both nature and mankind.

With the number of empty storefronts on UK high streets at the highest level in six years, the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust has proposed a new vision for the empty Broadmarsh shopping center in the city: an urban oasis of wetlands, woodlands, and wildflowers.

The proposal was submitted to city council in December, and its proponents hope it will bring back native species and link the city to the nearby Sherwood Forest. The Wildlife Trust cites Covid-19 as a breakthrough in the way people view wildlife and nature, as many rushed to natural areas for solace throughout the pandemic, reports EcoWatch.

Replacing these 6 acres of development - which is widely considered an eyesore by the community - could set a precedent for how such spaces in other cities are redeveloped in the future, perhaps reintroducing nature on available land rather than concrete and asphalt. For the benefit of everyone's wellbeing.

The proposed scheme runs counter to the conventional idea of urban parks and instead harks back to what Broadmarsh would have looked like in centuries gone by (as its name suggests). Often open spaces in cities are overly manicured and formal. The idea behind the Nottingham scheme is to have more rewilding, restoring, and protecting species.


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