Since 1659, the 6-kilometre Singelgracht (canal) surrounds the historic city centre of Leiden. Together with the ramparts and bastions, the canals form the largest still-existing city fortifications in Europe. Along the Singelgracht, there are numerous historical areas, such as the Hortus botanicus, historical cemeteries and the Observatory. The coming years, various places will be connected and supplemented with parks, bridges and gardens, thus forming the Singelpark. The idea for this park came from Jeroen Maters, a resident of Leiden who enthused many other residents with his proposal. Politicians embraced the plan and allocated financial resources. Designers LOLA Landscape Architects and Studio Karst won a competition organized by the municipality. The water of the canal plays a central role in the development that includes sixteen parks with a different character. By stringing together previously isolated habitats, a strong ecological structure is created that makes these habitats less vulnerable. The result is a ‘meta-park’ for sports, culture and recreation. The Hortus botanicus is the curator for the trees and plants from all over the world that are planted along the canal. Local parties develop small programmes for the park, and participate in the planting and maintenance of the green.
-Leiden (NL) 2012-2018
-Stadslab, Jeroen Maters, Gemeente (municipality of) Leiden, LOLA Landscape Architects, Studio Kars
more info: website vrienden van het Singelpark