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A waterfront garden?

10 Jun

A virtually empty car park right up against an ancient church!

The waterfront in Ipswich is separated from the town center by a pair of major roads (the Star Lane Gyratory) and a number of ugly surface-level waste-ground car parks which have been crudely flung together from very rough and unattractive materials.

Rough hoardings which have been there for years

They were created in response to the familiar cry ‘there is not enough parking’ which became hysterical just before Christmas 2009 when the Crown St car park was closed following structural problems. However… these waterfront car parks are very poorly used with most drivers preferring to queue for the car parks in the town center.

Another virtually empty car park

They are close to a number of significant historical structures, including Wolsey’s Gate and also to St Peter’s church and to St Mary’s church and could form attractive areas linking the town and the waterfront.


Runner beans doing well!

So… we decided to brighten them up and make them a little more attractive. For starters we have been doing some planting and have more plans for the near future. The beans that we planted a couple of weeks ago to attract the attention of the public have started to grow. There are about 6 inches tall already thanks to the rain and it wont be long before they are climbing up the bars of the fence.

We are choosing the perfect spot for a next veggie patch. The waterfront is ideal because amongst all the construction, finished developments and car parks there is very little plant life which we are going to try to change. 

First gardening project

1 Jun

The growing number of naff car parks in Ipswich town center, mainly around the waterfront are now starting to cover large area. The waterfront has seen considerable development in that past few years with new businesses setting up within walking distance of the town center. So why should so much land be dedicated to cars and why are the owners of these eyesores allowed to take from the community without giving anything back.

We are taking it upon ourselves to brighten up these areas and give something back. We have started planting in this area, our first action is a trench of peas and runner beans on the waterfront. We are hoping that passing pedestrians and motorists will be able to see these clearly and appreciate a nicer use of public spaces. We feel the Car parks in this area are a problem and need more of our attention which it will receive.


We got plenty of beans planted in a great spot. Some were unfortunately ‘strimmed’ during the course of the year but others bloomed and produced a crop!

The fields of the Champs-Elysees

28 May

The Jeunes Agriculteurs (Young Farmers) union attracted 2 million people to the Champs-Elysees in Paris, France during a weekend in May 2010 by transforming it into lush fields bursting with crops. They did it to raise awareness of the agriculture sector but it also demonstrated that we can used our city centres in a different way when we evict the cars. These following pictures are taken from in the middle of the road looking towards the Arc de Triomphe.

Photographs courtesy of Perry Tak

Photographs courtesy of Perry Tak

This is the normal view of the road as a dual 5 lane road full of polluting traffic – notice how inefficiently it is being used – there are actually only a relatively small number of vehicles, and therefor people, dominating a huge area.

The Champs-Elysees on a normal day. copyright image

The organisers are hoping to take the concept around the world so hopefully we will see them in Trafalgar Square soon!

Coalition Forces

20 May

P.L is growing already and have established troops in Woodbridge. We welcome; Ant, Katy and George to Pedestrian Liberation, we look forward to the first report from Woodbridge.

Getting some results at the Waterfront.

20 May

We decided to park our car in the most ridiculous way on the Ipswich Waterfront today to learn more about how people would respond to really bad parking. In order to get the effect we wanted we used our own car, parked if really badly and but one of the  “STUPID PARKING” leaflets under the windscreen wipers front and rear. We then took a seat outside a coffee shop and waited. We wanted to find out:

  • How many people will pass?
  • How many people will walk round the car without noticing anything odd?
  • How many people will show signs of irritation?
  • How many will notice the ‘STUPID PARKING’ sticker
  • How many will stop and talk to us about it.

Our awful parking was totally ignored by about half the people to passed, another 20% noticed something odd and glanced at the leaflet, and the rest were clearly irritated. Two parents with buggies were badly affected and had a great struggle getting by the car and then chatted with us. In order to get a real reaction from the passers by we didn’t immediately confess to the car being ours.

The most amazing reaction to us was when a pedestrian had no reaction at all, those who it seemed to not bother. Does this mean that it happens so much that people have gotten used to it? or do people just not realize that they have the write to act against it.

The free-runners

Whilst filming the car we noticed two guys free-running just a short way away and we thought what a brilliant idea it would be to get them involved, so we invited them over to help and they were more than happy to do so. The videos and pictures below show how we got on.

We came to the conclusion that this spot is used frequently by pedestrians and in the hour we spent filming there it proved to be very successful and we got some great results so this will be definitely be a  place to return to in the future.

Garden Project

17 May

I’m still working on our first event which is going to be a garden project. The date is still be arranged but I thought I’d add the poster for the event to give an idea of whats going to happen.

Our first event.

16 May

So the plans for our first public event have changed slightly, instead of Monday morning it will be on Tuesday morning the 18th. The plan is to set up a miniature garden with some bright and colorful flowers to draw attention to a damaged once green public area, the damage brought on  by some lazy individuals in their cars.  I will post the location on the morn, we would love to have some supporters visit. “Watch this space”.

Getting started

16 May

It’s clear to me that pavement parking is a big problem that is getting worse, and not just in our home town but all over this country. Parking s destructive and dangerous and its drives many of us mad.

So… we are going to do something about it. Pedestrian Liberation will support local people in their campaigns to reclaim their footpaths and we will also press government to act.