Ken Worpole

Ken Worpole

Ken Worpole is a writer and social historian, whose work includes many books on architecture, landscape and public policy. He is married to photographer Larraine Worpole with whom he has collaborated on book projects internationally, as well as in Hackney, London, where they have lived and worked since 1969.

His principal interests concern the planning and design of new settlements, landscapes and public institutions - streets, parks, playgrounds, libraries, informal education - based on the pioneering achievements of 20th century social democracy, as well as the modern environmental movement. In recent years his work has focused on contemporary landscape aesthetics and working with architects and garden designers on the creation of new forms of residential settlements for an ageing population.

Ken is Emeritus Professor, Cities Institute London Metropolitan University, and has served on the UK government’s Urban Green Spaces Task Force, on the Expert Panel of the Heritage Lottery Fund, and as an adviser to the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment.

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For many years, Ken Worpole has been one of the shrewdest and sharpest observers of the English social landscape.
The Independent

For well over 40 years Ken Worpole has been one of the most eloquent and forward thinking writers in Britain.
Icon: International Design,Architecture & Culture



Ground Work book cover

Coming Soon

Ground Work

Writings on Places and People
Edited by Tim Dee

This collection of essays draws on the ideas and ideals of Common Ground and the concept of local distinctiveness, from more than 30 writers including Hugh Brody, Tessa Hadley, Alexandra Harris, Richard Mabey, Patrick McGuinness & Marina Warner.

Many are personal accounts of a rural childhood, or of places in the British landscape that exert a particular hold on the writer’s emotional life.

Ken’s essay, The Echoing Green, calls attention to the crucial role that public parks have played in so many people’s lives, drawing on his love of Clissold Park in Hackney, close to where he and his family have lived for the past fifty years and have visited almost daily.

Published by Jonathan Cape London, 18 March 2018, £16.99