Soil was shaped after numerous climate and weather changes and different geological states. Although soil can provide several different services that are very important for the continuity of the circle of life it constitutes one of the most ignored resources. The warnings for the future of soil come from many places since humans from the beginning of their existence have degraded more than 7.5 million square miles of land. As the world population rises, the percentage of people moving from rural areas to the big cities has increased radically over the last two hundred years. Urban sprawl has created land contamination. In the current economy, almost everything is being produced by non-renewable resources. Therefore, there is an urgent call for reusing the land. A way to reuse our natural sources is Land recycling. Land recycling is the restoration and the ecological reuse of a former polluted or otherwise disturbed area and its transformation into a healthy and sustainable environment for every living organism. In the UK there is a great number of contaminated sites, not only because of its history in industry production, but also because of its geology, agricultural activity and chemical and waste disposal. The suggestion is the creation of a network between all the sites of London and more specifically between the ones that combine: a former industrial use- a fact that implies a level of contamination- a current derelict and abandoned situation and a location near residential areas, since this could facilitate the involvement of the local community into redeveloping it. In each one of them, every local community is going to be responsible for restoring the land or, in the cases of complete removal of the industrial sites, for totally recycling and regenerating the land. The main goal is to inspire local people in creating their own landscapes. The direction of the project is to fulfil the needs and to excite the local’s interests, so as to generate an educative, entertaining and environmental fruitful procedure that will redevelop the local landscape.
The study site is Lea Valley and it is located between London Boroughs of Haringey, Enfield and Waltham Forest in Greater London. It is a large green space with a rather unique character. However, its large infrastructure has led to the creation of many neglected green sites, something that has hastened its deterioration.
The project includes the following stages of development:phytoremediation (that includes the use of plants in order to clean the soil of its contaminants) and urban agriculture (that is the practice of self-growing food and vegetation in a city and it involves other procedures like horticulture and permaculture). These techniques can be applied for some months, years or decades. The redevelopment of the site is a procedure that will take several years for all the techniques to be applied. At the same time we suggest the transformation of the main elements of the current landscape of the site, the Kimberley Road Gas Holders, into plant nurseries. All of the plant species that will be used for phytoremediation and urban agriculture can be stored and grow in there. They can also have a different future use as Information Centers that will inform people about the whole procedure that took place in the area.