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Public Realm Handbook
In seeking to realise our vision and to improve the quality of the public realm, Grosvenor is following and promoting a number of main strategies.
These are based on Grosvenor's Public Realm Strategy "Places for People', prepared by Jan Gehl, and the Public Realm Handbook for Mayfair and Belgravia prepared by Building Design Partnership.
Places for people
Grosvenor's key objective is to achieve increased priority for pedestrians in Mayfair and Belgravia.
At the heart of our vision to improve the quality of the public realm is our desire to achieve a proper balance between pedestrians and vehicles, with priority accorded to pedestrians. This is not about the exclusion of traffic from Mayfair and Belgravia, but about recognising that places are for people and that traffic should play a complementary role in our vision and not a leading or dominant one.
To achieve this, there is a variety of aims and features we could consider employing on the ground in particular public realm improvement schemes. These are highlighted to the right.
The public realm should be well designed, safe and inclusive to all
Create a high quality, coherent and legible pedestrian environment
Reduce unnecessary street furniture and clutter
Create interesting walking links
Provide designated pedestrian crossing points where needed
Carry footways across minor streets
Introduce shared surfacing, with defined edges
Create more and better public spaces
Introduce places to rest and dwell
Grosvenor's key objectives are to reduce through traffic and promote better management of the traffic that has a legitimate purpose in Mayfair and Belgravia.
The impact of traffic and vehicles upon the quality of the environment in Mayfair and Belgravia is significant. The estates have not been immune from them and experience issues associated with congestion, pollution and safety, not to mention visual intrusion and community isolation.
These issues have been caused by a combination of the saturation of our streets by motor vehicles and an overindulgence in accommodating them as they encroach upon pedestrian space.
Promote the reintroduction of two-way streets where appropriate
Improve the management of vehicle speeds through public realm design and other measures
Emphasise entry points to, and thresholds within, the estates
Reduce carriageway widths where appropriate
Promote better and more considerate behaviour from drivers
Grosvenor's key objectives are to promote better spatial management and efficient provision of parking facilities. Parked vehicles can adversely dominate the streetscape environment. Too often they unnecessarily encroach upon pedestrian space and generate large amounts of supporting signage and infrastructure, adding to visual clutter. Grosvenor aims to promote better spatial management and efficient provision of parking facilities, and to improve their visual incorporation into the public realm where necessary. In achieving this we need to be conscious of and sensitive towards the parking needs of residents, businesses and visitors.
Avoid long rows of consecutive parking spaces
Introduce "pocket" parking
Reduce parking dominance
Encourage use of existing car parks
Incorporate "delivery pads" for local businesses
Be sensitive to the parking needs of residents, businesses and visitors
Seek to locate residents' parking in close proximity to dwellings
Grosvenor is committed to encouraging cycling across Mayfair and Belgravia. Grosvenor recognises the importance of cycling to Mayfair and Belgravia.
Our long-term approach is based upon creating a shared public realm environment that all road users are able to use comfortably, without replicating or adding to the examples of over-engineered and separated cycle lanes that are currently present on the estates.
In accordance with this approach, and whilst wishing to see an improvement in the cycle network, Grosvenor will support TfL and Westminster initiatives where appropriate rather than proposing an independent physical strategy of dedicated cycle lane provisions.
Promote cycling generally within Mayfair and Belgravia
Promote a "shared environment" approach through well designed public realm
Create a coherent and legible environment that accommodates cyclists
Create attractive cycling links though not necessarily through separate cycle lanes
Introduce cycle parking where appropriate
Grosvenor seeks to encourage a range of activities and events in Mayfair and Belgravia.
Encouraging activities and events, through physical design of the public realm, in appropriate places and at appropriate times, will add vibrancy, and also increase people's enjoyment of the public spaces. The range of activities and events that could be encouraged include permanent, flexible and transient activities, taking into consideration the requirements of residential areas. Active recreation could also be encouraged. Having a variety of activities and events would also go hand in hand with measures to help make the public environment safer at all times.
Introduce opportunities for a range of activities and events
Be sensitive to residential areas and businesses
Encourage active and passive activities and events
Enhance safety and perceptions of safety during the day and night
Encourage permanent, flexible and transient activities where appropriate
Grosvenor seeks to strengthen and develop the visual identities of both Mayfair and Belgravia.
Mayfair and Belgravia have differing characteristics and identities based upon their squares and gardens, streets, architecture, mix of uses and range of mews and minor streets.
Grosvenor will seek to develop and augment the identities of Mayfair and Belgravia through a range of co-ordinated public realm initiatives. Respecting the positive physical characteristics and historic legacies that combine in the public realm to give Mayfair and Belgravia their unique "sense of place" will be at the heart of our approach. Building upon this, we will seek to ensure a high quality estate-wide treatment, enhanced in strategic locations through increased design input and the application of additionally creative solutions - to include, for example, surfacing materials, street furniture, lighting, planting and trees, activities and events and public art.
Enhanced, distinctive, co-ordinated and simple palette of surfacing materials and street furniture
Enhanced designs and creativity at particular locations
Use Westminster's black livery for street furniture
Respect and retain heritage elements in the public realm
Use a contemporary design approach where sympathetic and appropriate
Introduce public art, water and innovative lighting
Introduce greening - trees and planting where appropriate
Grosvenor's key objective is to improve the visual quality of the environment.
The main way in which most of us perceive our physical environment is visually. The public realm can often present a vast array of visual information and cluttered interruption. A key objective for Grosvenor is to improve the visual quality of the environment whilst ensuring that it is accessible for all users.
At the heart of this approach is ensuring that design, detailing and implementation is of high quality and uses co-ordinated materials. In doing this the choice of materials and street furniture needs to be informed by the character and traditions of their context, striking the right balance between the preservation of character and the demands of modern urban living.
High quality and co-ordinated design, detailing and implementation
Use appropriate high quality materials and street furniture items
Simplicity in design and approach
Minimise visual clutter
Introduce co-ordinated and stimulating lighting
Enhance street trees and planting
Promote public art and the use of water
We aim to provide a coherent lighting approach in harmony with surrounding architecture and landscapes, whilst identifying focal points which will provide a sequence of stepping stones through Mayfair and Belgravia. The intention is to improve navigation, orientation and spatial identity. This approach focuses on the requirements of daily users such as residents, retailers, workers and visitors to help ensure a pleasant and safe environment is created.
Grosvenor is committed to improving the quality of the public realm in a sustainable way.
Grosvenor intends that sustainability, a complex concept to implement in practice, is a key tenet upon which improvement of the public realm is progressed. Our objectives of promoting greater priority for pedestrians, better managing traffic and parking, and creating an enhanced street environment which all users can share safely is in accord with the ideals of sustainability.
We will seek to ensure that the design of the public realm schemes we implement, and the materials we use, follow the principles of sustainable development.
Promote whole life costing in public realm design
Ensure materials used represent long term sustainable solutions
Ensure the public realm recognises and responds to all users' needs
Ensure prudent use of natural resources
Promote sustainable energy use where related to the public realm
Support the use of sustainable transport modes
Talking with stakeholders with an interest in the public realm is key to informing the look and shape of scheme proposals and helping to ensure that schemes are a success for everyone as far as possible. Consultation events are fundamental to capturing knowledge of local specific issues which scheme proposals may need to respond to through design. Such events are part of the Grosvenor tradition of transparency and help implement our aspirations to keep local people as fully informed as possible about our proposals and to seek their views.
Extensive consultation on Places for People
People with Public Realm Strategy for Mayfair and Belgravia
The Public Realm Handbook promotes engagement
This website promotes engagement and helps keep people informed
Specific exhibitions for Elizabeth and Mount Street projects
Social and cultural survey underway in north Mayfair
We welcome your questions or enquiries