The story begins In 2019, when Freeling Street was turned into a pop up park during the annual Cally Festival event. It was a new area for attendees to chill out and relax, with well being sessions. The Calm Zone was born…
A Pop Up Pocket Park
The Cally festival is an annual event where part of Caledonian Road closes so that residents, local organisations and businesses, voluntary groups and artists can all come together as a community on one Sunday in June for music, stalls and activities.
Aided by Help on Your Doorstep, Global Generation, Newlon Housing, Islington Council, Institute of Physics and Islington Play Association, the Cally Festival transformed Freeling Street into a pop-up park, creating a new temporary ‘Calm Zone’, with grass, raised planters, shrubs and trees. This offered an area for over 10,000 festival attendees to experience free well-being activities including drinks from a ‘Smoothie bike’ supplied with fruit grown by the local Bangladesh Society.
The new community space was incredibly popular and received really positive feedback from residents and visitors, so the organisers thought, “Why not make it a permanent feature?” The Cally Festival team sought support from the ‘Calm Zone’ sponsors and wrote a successful bid for the Mayor of London’s Greener City Fund to create a permanent pocket-park in the heart of Caledonian Road.
A Permanent Green Space
The idea to make the pop-up park permanent came from the community. While reviewing the 2019 Cally Festival, the project team highlighted the positive response and enthusiasm for the idea and proposed a bid be made to the Mayor of London’s Greener City Fund.
We won the bid! With the support from festival sponsors and local Councillors. The park can become a permanent feature. The new public space will be for all to enjoy for years to come, but why stop there? Going further we can link Bingfield Park with Thornhill Square, taking in the West Library, Jean Stokes Community Centre, the nursery and the Cally High Street.
A Community Gardening Project
Led through community engagement, an ambitious plan to transform The Cally across three connected areas.
A green walkway.
From Bingfield Park to Caledonian Road.
A pocket park.
Transforming an unwanted patch of Tarmac in the heart of the Cally.
A green walkway.
From Caledonian Road to Thornhill Square.