London is always changing – from a bit of TLC for classic museums to iconic department stores being repurposed, the city is pretty good at embracing change. And another massive upgrade right in the heart of the capital is set to give one of its most famous shopping streets a glamorous European-style makeover. Oh là là!
The first load of funding has just been signed off to give Regent Street an enormous overhaul. The ‘Regent Street Public Realm Vision’ (as it’s officially known) has just been unveiled by Westminster Council and the Crown Estate, and apparently it’s taken inspo from some of Europe’s most legendary streets.
The Champs-Élysées in Paris, La Rambla in Barcelona and Mariahilfer Strasse in Vienna are all apparently being used to shape Regent Street’s redesign, as well as the urban layouts of parts of Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Seville. The same plans will also see Piccadilly Circus, Haymarket and bits of Pall Mall refurbished.
And while this might be news to most of us, the idea has actually been around for a while. John Nash, the famous British architect who designed a large chunk of London’s Regency-era buildings, pitched the idea of a ‘park-to-park’ connection more than 200 years ago, according to the Standard.
In practical terms, Regent Street Public Realm Vision plans to reduce traffic and make more room for pedestrians and cyclists. Westminster Council said its ‘ultimate ambition’ is to create a ‘green link through the heart of the West End’, connecting Regent’s Park to St James’s Park.
Around 3,500 people took part in public engagement workshops between July and October last year, and Paul Dimoldenberg, cabinet member for city management and air quality, said the project has ‘worked extensively with members of the public to shape a visit that is based on what they want to see.’
Sounds pretty cool right? All this is still in its very early stages – the first designs likely won’t be unveiled until 2025 at the earliest.
Did you see that London is the most affordable it’s been in a decade, apparently?
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