Bankside Urban Forest


Bankside Urban Forest is a long-term partnership and strategy to transform the network of streets and spaces across Bankside to deliver more and better public space for people and wildlife.

Launched in 2007, Bankside Urban Forest is Better Bankside’s placemaking strategy for the area.  It is a long-term partnership and strategy which is transforming the network of streets and spaces across Bankside to deliver more and better public space for people and wildlife and to support more active travel.
Bankside Urban Forest:

  • Encourages investment in streets and other public spaces by working in partnership with public and private sector partners.
  • Delivers imaginative and high-quality improvements through engaging with local residents, businesses, developers and landowners.
  • Promotes greater exploration, footfall and cycling across the area by implementing projects that green streets and help reduce traffic speeds.
  • Helps to improve the local connections between green spaces, amenities and where people live and work.
  • Provides a common vision for Bankside’s public realm, so that investment joins up to connect new developments with established spaces.

Since its launch in 2007, Bankside Urban Forest has delivered over 25 projects, planted over 250 trees, increased green cover in the neighbourhood by more than 1000m2 and improved over 10,000m2 public space across the area.


Why a forest?

The term ‘forest’ is an imaginative name for describing the project. Bankside has a rich network of medieval streets and a mosaic of open spaces. The character of these streets and spaces evokes the idea of a forest. The strategy is not literally to turn the area into a forest, although delivering more urban greening through tree planting and other green infrastructure measures in the neighbourhood.

Who is involved?

Bankside Urban Forest brings together a partnership of local and strategic organisations, who work together to achieve well designed and sustainable spaces and places across Bankside.

Projects are developed incrementally by partners, but a shared vision for the neighbourhood sets the wider context.

Over the years we have worked with a wide range of partners including the Architecture Foundation, Tate Modern, Southwark Council, Cross River Partnership, Transport for  London, Native Land, Land Securities, Living Bankside, Bankside Open Spaces Trust, Borough Market and the Mayor of London.