Page last updated at 13:44 GMT, Thursday, 6 November 2008

Huge London park plans unveiled

Artist impression of Olympic Park
The Olympic Park will boast more than three kilometres of restored rivers

East London will be home to the largest urban park to be built in Europe for 150 years, organisers of the 2012 Olympic Games have announced.

More than 200m has been earmarked for the Olympic Park in Stratford, being built on a former industrial site.

Work first began in May and about 270 acres (110 hectares) will be transformed, inspired by the Victorian and post-war pleasure gardens.

An estimated 130,000 spectators are expected in the park during its peak.

The park will be home to the Olympic Stadium, Aquatics Centre, Velopark, a multi-sports arena and an outdoor sport complex.

I can see this becoming a highly popular attraction with Londoners and tourists alike
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London

The southern part of the park will focus on retaining the festival atmosphere from the Games, with riverside gardens, markets, events, cafes and bars.

The northern area will use the latest green techniques to manage flood and rain water while providing quieter public space and habitats for hundreds of existing and rare species from kingfishers to otters.

The site will also include 1.9 miles (3km) of restored and previously neglected and inaccessible rivers, more than 15 acres (six hectares) of woodland and more than 2,000 trees.

252 acres (102 hectares) of open space
1.9 miles (3km) of restored rivers
More than 2,000 trees
At least 250 species of plants, trees, meadows and herbs
4.9 acres (2 hectares) of alloments

London Mayor Boris Johnson said: "As a direct result of hosting the 2012 Games, London gets this fantastic green space in the heart of east London - Europe's first new public park for more than 150 years.

"Not only will this provide a great facility for athletes and spectators to relax in during the Games, I can see this becoming a highly popular attraction with Londoners and tourists alike."

Andrew Harland, from LDA Design Hargreaves Associates, which designed the park, said: "It will operate on so many levels and it's very exciting to be part of the team responsible for its design, knowing that we will leave London another excellent green space."

The plans have been unveiled in central London's Hyde Park on Thursday.

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