Parks of London

I see parks as an intriguing reflection of the state of democracy in any city. A big part of my “touristing” occupies unplanned park visits. Parks are generally open and public, apparently classless, yet it they are not. There is a degree of freedom, then there are rules, like parts of Regent’s Park are off limits for pets and cycles, but here in the Battersea Park, pets are welcome almost throughout the area, cycling is not allowed though. Hyde Park on the other hand allows bicycles.

Then there’s the planning and landscaping of it, some are like Hampstead Heath—jungles, whereas parts of Regent’s Park are intricately manicured. Then there’s the difference of demography, local neighbourhood communities vs foreign tourists vs inter-district tourists.

How these different groups behave with the parks gives an insight about the social political climate. I cycled through Hyde Park today on the way to Battersea, there was a big protest by pro immigration activists with heavy police presence. How regular park goers and cyclists react to that gives a lot of hints.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the river, the Battersea Park and the new housing, Power-station shopping mall attracts a whole different type of expat community, too many Lululemon wearing runners around. Anyway the #BatterseaPark is beautiful 🙂

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