A greener West End for London
Camden Council and LDA Design have revealed exciting new designs for three new and improved green spaces in London’s West End.
The transformation of Princes Circus, and Alfred Place and Whitfield Gardens off Tottenham Court Road form part of the Council’s £35 million West End Project, the largest council-led transformational scheme the borough has ever seen, prioritising the pedestrian and cyclist experience in central London.
The new designs reveal how the three spaces will be enhanced to provide more places to enjoy lunch or to sit and dwell amidst the tumult of modern city life. New green infrastructure will contribute to improved air quality for local residents and workers.
LDA Design Director and project lead, Sophie Thompson, said:
“These projects completely transform public realm around the West End. Importantly, they start to address some of the bigger issues London is facing: population increase, air pollution and health and wellbeing. We are thrilled to be helping to drive this change.”
The plans include a dramatic redesign of bustling Princes Circus on Shaftesbury Avenue, with a new pedestrianised area improving access between Covent Garden and the British Museum. This proposal involves removing traffic from sections of Bloomsbury Street and Shaftesbury Avenue to create a larger, traffic-free public square, with widened pavements and safer cycle routes. New planting will create an additional green space in the city, providing welcome pockets of tranquillity. The listed drinking fountain is to be restored and relocated. New pedestrian crossings will make the area easier to navigate.
A new park will be created in Alfred Place, turning a road into a green oasis lined with wild flowers, lawns, places for play, and a meandering path.
Plans will also revitalise cherished local park Whitfield Gardens, off Tottenham Court Road. Improvements will be made to the square, with planting that thrives in shady locations and enhances biodiversity. The park will also be made fully accessible. The beautiful mature trees will be incorporated into the scheme with new raised planting and seating. The seating can be reconfigured to offer space to eat, a large event space, along with more intimate areas. The Fitzrovia mural and war memorial will be fully restored.
Councillor Adam Harrison, Cabinet Member for Improving Camden’s Environment, said:
“It’s time to green the West End, or Camden’s part of it at least. We are creating a totally new park in Alfred Place, innovatively turning road space into green space. This will be the first new park for this part of the borough in a quarter of a century.
“With uncertainty hanging over other important roads in the area such as Oxford Street, it is important that we take what steps we can to ensure the West End is as clean, green, and safe as possible.
The designs were showcased at three community events at the Building Centre and a roadshow at each location. A further event is planned for Tuesday 21 August at the Building Centre.