How we're changing the urban environment

Our IMPROVE programme aims to deliver high-quality outdoor spaces that enable residents to enjoy the open spaces in their neighbourhood.

How IMPROVE works

IMPROVE looks at improving the entire outside area of an estate. Areas include:

  • trees and planting
  • surfacing and drainage
  • parking
  • waste management
  • increasing biodiversity
  • sustainable drainage
  • play facilities
  • food growing
  • car parking
  • planting areas
  • wild gardens

Current IMPROVE projects

Previous IMPROVE projects

These include Islington, Clyde Road, Barnwell House, and North Row (see video below).

Case study 1: Islington IMPROVE

We spoke to residents at various consultation events. We also worked with a committed resident group who were a key point of contact for residents on the estate, feeding back information to the IMPROVE team.

Islington Estate -Landscape2 

The project was completed at the end of September 2014.

Environmental solutions include sustainable drainage systems installed under the main square and elsewhere across the estate. These collect and store the rainwater which is then available to irrigate the trees. 

Islington Estate -Landscape

We introduced 23 new trees, planting, children’s play opportunities, cycle storage, waste storage, rationalised parking with wooden bollards, secure motorcycle parking, and new surfacing. 

A community garden with food growing opportunities will also be introduced to the estate when Quality Homes have completed their works in approximately 2015/2016.

Islington Estate -Landscape3

Residents’ views:

  • “Transformation from the dreary black & white monochrome picture we had, to the contrasting brilliance of high definition colour now, amazing."
  • “Looks nice, it was a dead space before but now I can see people spending time in the court yard.”
  • “The improvement made the estate stand out as the landscape is one of the best. My visitors coming into the estate now comment and praise the new improved landscape.”
  • “It looks amazing, I’ve lived here over 20 years and it’s so good to see trees when I look out my kitchen window. Fantastic improvements thank you.”
  • “I love the children's play area the most, it is very creative and I am sure the children will enjoy it very much.  Thank You”
  • “The lighting on the estate has made a huge difference it feels safer to go out at night.”

Case study 2: Rosendale Road estate


The work included renewing and improving the pavements and roadways, renewing the water mains, improving the lighting, renewing fencing and entrance gates.

We also created a planting bed for residents to use, and a community space with play features such as stepping logs, a tree trunk and boulders.

We phased the work to minimise disruption and keep the estate accessible at all times. The project took four years, from first drawings to completion (Sep 2012).

We now have wider pavements, trees along the roads and a play area. The children’s gardening club has a planting area for growing vegetables.


Rosendale Road estate was officially recognised by the British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) when it received a BALI National Landscape Award in the Hard Landscaping category.