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 roads
  • underground infrastructure
  • waste management 
  • estate boundaries and entrances
  • access for all abilities
  • storage 
  • signage
  • lighting 
  • sustainable transport
  • enhancing biodiversity 
  • sustainable drainage
  • play facilities 
  • food growing 
  • car parking 
  • wild gardens

When delivering an IMPROVE scheme we work closely with residents and stakeholders to design an estate that works best for them and also consider access, safety, future maintenance and environmental factors.

Case study 1: Islington IMPROVE

Completed in 2014, the project delivered a sustainable drainage system installed under the main square and elsewhere across the estate. These collect and store the rainwater which is then available to irrigate the trees.

23 new trees were introduced as well as extensive new planting, children’s play opportunities, cycle storage, waste storage, rationalised parking, secure motorcycle parking and new surfacing.

Islington Estate -Landscape

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.”
  • “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”

Case study 2: Shadwell IMPROVE

The IMPROVE project at Shadwell delivered new roads and underground infrastructure, storage, biodiversity enhancements and comprehensive new lighting and planting.

The quality of the open spaces and communal environment at Shadwell has significantly improved, providing a much lighter and brighter environment at the estate, gardening opportunities and very attractive views into the estate making it much more welcoming.  

Shadwell IMPROVE 1


Shadwell IMPROVE 2

Residents’ views:

  • “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”
  • “It is so nice to be able to grow my own vegetables on my doorstep”

  • “I now sit and meet my neighbours. We never did that before because there was nowhere for us to go.” 

Shadwell Estate time lapse film