Who’s Who: Farokh Khorooshi, founder of anti-street clutter group, Hampstead 2020, talks about why he loves the area
PUBLISHED: 12:00 22 April 2013 | UPDATED: 12:45 26 April 2013
Farokh Khorooshi, 57, of Fitzjohns Avenue, has lived in Hampstead for 30 years and in that time he has removed 400 pieces of street furniture and countless bollards as part of his campaigning group, Hampstead 2020, which sets out a vision for what the area will look like in the future.
What bought you to Hampstead? Its architecture and greenery and it’s near to the centre of town. You could practically walk to the West End which is where I used to work.
What is your favourite thing about the area? Hampstead Heath! It’s just a wonderful giant green space and we’re very fortunate to have it at our doorstep. I also have a holding in Buckinghamshire and I do organic farming. It’s lambing season right now.
What is the worst thing? The traffic! Hampstead has become a place that people drive through as opposed to a place where people visit, which doesn’t make it for good living. Traffic can come and go but it just needs to be a bit gentle.
If you had £100 to blow in Hampstead where would you spend it? I would spend it at Fawkes’ Bookshop – it’s owned by Guy Fawkes’ great-great-great-grandson. I’d buy music books because that’s a passion of mine.
What is missing from the area? The things in the Hampstead 20:20 concept! The townscape is harsh. It’s full of steel and concrete. We need softer pavements, more greenery and a more sympathetic traffic system where humanity has priority – children, parents with buggies and dogs must have priority.
What makes you smile on your way home? Seeing all those pieces of street furniture disappearing one by one. We have removed 150 totally unnecessary bollards from the high street and no one has even missed them.
If you were mayor for a day, what would you change? If I was mayor I would get rid of all the street furniture.We don’t need it. We are quite capable of taking care of ourselves.
How would you spend your perfect Sunday? A cup of coffee and a book and good wander around the second hand bookshop
What tips would you give to somebody moving in to the area? Use Hampstead Heath every day. Shop locally. Leave your car and walk, Hampstead is really nice.
Where in the world would you twin with Hampstead? Thaxson Hauson in Frankfurt, because it has the same architecture and they don’t have half as much street clutter as we do. It’s very beautiful and they have cycle paths which we don’t have.
To see Mr Kohrooshi’s Youtube video about Hampstead 2020 go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GkABUVbRy0
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