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It's clear that 2020 will go down in the history books as a turbulent one with the spread of COVID-19 being at the core. And though we are still in the midst of the madness, one major city is already planning to commemorate this year with a public gesture. London revealed that it’s planning to build a public garden that will honor the victims of the coronavirus.
London's mayor Sadiq Khan made the announcement revealing that it will be constructed in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and feature eight different species of trees situated in three rings. In total there will be 33 trees to symbolize the capital's 32 boroughs and the City of London as the virus hit every one of them. And design teams The Edible Bus Stop, Davies White, and the Rosetta Arts organization chose blossoming trees as this year's blossom season came at the same time as the UK's first widespread national lockdown.
To enhance the natural installation a local artist named Junior Phipps is working to create a path and public benches around the site giving visitors ample opportunity to reflect. And, Khan hopes, it is a permanent reminder of how lives were changed. But it’s also meant to be a source of inspiration as so many people came together during this troubling time.
The Memorial Garden is part of a larger initiative by the National Trust to provide people in the UK more access to nature, something that became abundantly necessary during quarantine. And other cities are following suit. Italian architect Angelo Renna revealed a design of 35,000 cypress trees being planted in Milan's San Siro stadium. And plans for a circular sculpture off the coast of Uruguay named the World Memorial to the Pandemic were revealed by Latin American architecture firm Gómez Platero.
The London garden is set to be planted in early 2021 and will be funded by Bloomberg.