The River Aire cuts a path through the centre of Leeds, and in doing so forms a key part of our urban landscape. From swanky Calls Landing to the chic Royal Armouries museum and Leeds Dock, the riverside is an attractive environment that hosts many of our cities greatest attractions.
But continue East from Leeds Dock, and the immaculately kept paving and glass frontages quickly give way to unkempt greenery and open space.
It is along this section of the river that we’re building the Climate Innovation District. At the moment, the open green spaces by the river are going to waste, as they’re in large part just a tangle of brambles with little in the way of access. Having been left un-attended the area has accrued rubbish, so right now it’s a markedly less pleasant a location than the nearby Leeds dock, which is just a moment’s walk up-stream.
We’re out to change all that. As part of the work on Climate Innovation District, we’re going to be rejuvenating the riverside by clearing rubbish, improving access and planting a range of native plant species from trees to wildflowers.
We got started last week, clearing rubbish, fences and various flotsam and jetsam that had washed up along the riverside.
Although the area is in need of some serious TLC, it’s amazing to see how much green space there is just a few minutes’ walk from the hectic bustle of Leeds.
It transitions very quickly from an urban environment to a far greener and leafier one. It is easy to see that with a bit of work it could become a fantastic place to live.
This is just the beginning, but in a few months, we will be well on the way to achieving our vision of a beautiful riverside landscape. It will be the perfect place to recharge with friends and for kids to play.
Our aim is for this landscape to bring families back into the city centre, preventing thousands of polluting car journeys every day as people can walk or cycle to work.