Wild West End is a pioneering partnership with Arup and seven of London’s largest landholders, working towards a shared vision of creating a world-first in-urban greening. 

Stepping towards a greener future for London

In a bustling city centre, imagination takes the lead when weaving in the equivalent of more than ten tennis courts worth of extra green space. Since 2015, this is how much the partners of Wild West End have added to London’s iconic West End. The ongoing project’s partners continue to collaborate and find ways to enhance ecological connectivity and encourage wildlife to thrive in the capital. As space is at a premium, the key is to integrate valuable green stepping stones that deliver multiple benefits. Arup designed a value matrix to ensure green spaces work hard and deliver against desired outcomes. 

Arup plays a pivotal role in raising awareness for Wild West End and ensures updates are broadcast to wider audiences. We aim to raise the profile of the Wild West End partnership model globally, inspiring cities to follow and replicate as a way to amplify green infrastructure. 

To find out more about Wild West End, please visit their website.

Bringing people and organisations together

Arup was instrumental in bringing like-minded partners together, and now acts as the technical lead of the partnership. With a common purpose to make this corner of London more biodiverse and resilient to climate change, this in return will create a better place to live, work, and visit.

In 2016, a green space and wildlife survey was carried out, enabling us to monitor the partnership’s success and quantify the added green space’s benefits. This is now done every two years for consistent results. Our bespoke value matrix guides partners to design for the local context and consider their goals. The matrix comprises five themes: biodiversity, wellbeing, social interaction, climate and microclimate, with each green space delivering at least two of these benefits. 

Wild West End relies on input from its strategic partners, The London Wildlife Trust, the Greater London Authority and Westminster City Council, ensuring the project aligns with London’s environmental initiatives. In 2020, we created the Wild West End Business Improvement District (BID) network, to further support the objectives and highlight strategic opportunities.

Integrated nature solutions 

Small changes reap big rewards, with multi-functionality being key when space is at a premium. In addition to creating wildlife habitats, linked green spaces provide attractive thoroughfares for pedestrians, and green roofs invisible from the ground can target biodiversity enhancement and mitigate climate effects. Installations that consider the combined impacts include Wild West End Garden on Old Quebec Street, which saw a 47% increase in pedestrian activity, with our survey also highlighting a 64% increase in self-reported wellbeing. 

Wild West End targets specific species, with a range of measures identified for each. In Carnaby Street, the focus was drawing bees and other pollinators back into the area, creating small habitats that link to significant spaces nearby. To date, 635 window boxes, 98 planters, and 46 hanging baskets have been installed, contributing to global efforts to restore the world’s pollinators and provide a place for people to connect with nature.

This would not have been possible without Arup’s technical expertise and understanding of our goals, which have been crucial to this ongoing project. 

Jane Wakiwaka

Sustainability Manager, The Crown Estate

Wild West End