The award

Groundwork London has been awarded £90,000 to develop an income generation model that will enable businesses to contribute to identified parks and squares throughout Hackney, and identify what services or products they would want in return. The project will also ensure that there is no reduction in hours that the parks and squares are open to the public.

Rethinking Parks is a jointly funded programme between the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Big Lottery Fund (England) and Nesta.

This project guide provides information on what the Park Hack, Groundwork London team tested throughout the project and offers advice to others interested in exploring a similar model.

The idea

ParkHack’ seeks to establish a true partnership in how businesses can contribute to, and benefit from parks, in the long term. The team are using open engagement techniques to gain interest and enable businesses to develop ways to improve the squares in and around Shoreditch – in ways the benefit not just business but all parks users.

The first deliverable of the project has been to established the TreeXOffice in London's Hoxton Square. The TreeXOffice is testing the appeal and feasibility of a shared work and meeting space that will raise money for the Borough's parks. TreeXOffice is true partnership and has been created by Natalie Jereminjenko in collabroation with artists Shuster + Moseley, architects Tate Harmer & briefing architects Gensler.

The desired impact

The ParkHack initiatives will lead to greater financial security for our parks and public open spaces in Hackney. But also importantly increase access to and use of our valuable public open spaces, create new opportunities for communities and promote health and well-being among those who live and work in the borough.

It is envisaged that the successful Park Hack initiatives will be replicated across the UK and the localised positive impact therefore multiplied.

The team

ParkHack is a Rethinking Parks project led by Groundwork London in partnership with The London Borough of Hackney. A range of other partners are involved and engaged in delivery, including Gensler as briefing architects.

At Groundwork London: Danielle Johnson, Community Manager; Fiona Brenner, Area Manager; and Rachel Kirk, Communications Manager.

At Hackney Council: Duncan Ray, Shoreditch Town Centre Manager; Sam Parry, Parks Development Manager; and Bruce Irving, Parks Development Officer.

Together they are working with local businesses, creatives and the wider community to develop a number of Park Hack initiatives that will directly benefit four parks in Hackney; Charles Square, Mark Street Gardens, Hackney Road Recreation Ground and Hoxton Square.

"Groundwork is thrilled to be leading a Rethinking Parks project in London. This is an important opportunity for us to be at the forefront of shaping new models of public space management in the capital. We’re committed to finding holistic solutions that benefit the environment and the community; those who live, work and play in our vibrant city."
- Danielle Johnson


ParkHack website:

Danielle Johnson: [email protected] 020 8985 1755
Rachel Kirk (Media/Press enquiries): [email protected] 07889 755511