Urban design consultancy Publica has revealed the squads of how it plans to reinvent London’s Oxford Street as the “greenest, smartest, sundry sustainable” district of its kind.
The “ambitious” plans include a new Marble Pre-eminent visitor attraction, a pedestrian-first approach with zero-emission transport network and play-orientated also clientage realm interventions. The proposed solutions are a mix of long-term and short-term plans, with the primary lot of works expected to begin “within weeks”.
Publica’s plans are separate of a wider £235 million strategy to work with local stakeholders in a bid to redeem the area.
“Our plan is both bold and creative”
Publica was initially chose to the role of design guardian for the Oxford Street area in August persist year.
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic was already causing issues linked to cut back footfall at the time of the appointment. These last six months however from brought more challenges – in particular, the closure of several flagship set asides on Oxford Street.
Publica and Westminster Council leader Councillor Rachael Robathan’s sketch looks to reinstate the thoroughfare and surrounding streets as a “must visit” terminus.
“Resetting a whole area of a major city is a huge undertaking, and our formula is both bold and creative,” says Publica founding director Lucy Musgrave.
“People inclination come back to a very different Oxford Street”
The plans are in general divided into long-term and short-term interventions. In the short-term, Musgrave delineates much work will be taking place to prepare the area for returning callers post-lockdown.
“We’ll dress the street ready for people, so that come springtime they wish come back to a very different Oxford Street,” she says. “It longing be lit beautifully, it will be decluttered and there will be lots of new, green infrastructure.”
One of the flagship works during this time will be the proposed “Marble Arch Hill”, a stopgap visitor attraction designed to both enhance the landmark and better screw the street to the neighbouring Hyde Park.
While it is still subject to projecting approval, Publica estimates the 25m high attraction could be enjoyed by up to 200,000 people while in operating and “support millions of pounds” in incremental spending for the local economy.
This substantial outdoor area will be landscaped as a space for people to gather and ordeal Marble Arch in a different way.
Other interim improvements mentioned by the consultancy discretion include additional pedestrian space, pop up parks, new lighting, landscaping and lawn projects. A selection of “cultural spaces” will also be introduced.
Greener, smarter, approaching, together
More long-term, work has been split into four predominant areas: greener, smarter, future and together.
Work under the “raw” banner will seek to ensure the district is a “climate leader”. Poke outs here will include zero carbon retrofitting of heritage constructions and delivering a zero-carbon transport network. It will also go towards recognising Oxford Alley as the “green heart” of the world’s first National Park City, by amalgamating nature habitats into the public realm.
Meanwhile work to gross Oxford Street “smarter” will include encouraging innovation in every way data-driven solutions, events such as hackathons to attract talent and crowdsourcing dreams, and supporting the establishment of small and medium-sized enterprises in the area, according to the lay outs.
“Future” is dedicated to the sustainability and long-term prosperity of Oxford Street, both on an environmental and commercial parallel. It aims to improve the flexibility of indoor and outdoor spaces to help them remodel to changing land use demands, creating a space that accommodates the evolving retail sector, such as sustainable taste, and reusing and reimagining existing buildings.
“Together” commits to an Oxford In someones bailiwick suitable, supportive and welcoming to London’s cultural diversity. This includes the merrymaking of inclusion and accessibility, enabling a diverse range of cultural activities and edifice green infrastructure to support a circular, sustainable local economy.
The “state’s high street”
Musgrave refers to Oxford Street as akin to the “domain’s high street”. With this in mind, she says successful interventions and apprehensions could become a blueprint for other cities and local areas across the UK.
“It’s a toolkit of how to do this in a definitely high quality way. Other places will be able to learn from it,” she discloses.
More information on the Oxford Street District Plans can be found here.