Westminster City Council and The Crown Estate unveil their ‘Regent Street Public Realm Vision’ with exciting ambitions for surrounding landmark areas.
Presenting a unique global and local opportunity, Westminster City Council and The Crown Estate have launched the Regent Street Public Realm Vision Report. The report outlines collective ambitions for one of London’s most iconic streets following an extensive public engagement with the area’s residents, workers, and visitors from the UK and abroad.
Three key priorities emerged from the public’s feedback:
- prioritising pedestrian experience;
- preserving heritage; and,
- introducing nature and greening.
These priorities will be central in developing designs to enhance the look and feel of the public realm for the benefit of the local community and the millions of people that visit it each year, and will secure Regent Street’s position as one of the leading urban destinations on the global stage long into the future.
The ultimate ambition is to design and deliver a public realm project that connects St. James’s Park to Regent’s Park, to bring forward a new green link through the heart of the West End. This would emphasise and reimagine the famous architect – John Nash’s – ‘park-to-park’ connection, set out over 200 years ago, to help adapt it in a changing climate and give rise to a variety of flourishing activities and experiences along its 1.5 mile route.
The public engagement process was held between July and October 2023, to gather feedback from people who live, work, and visit Regent Street. Engagement was specifically designed to be inclusive of a wide range of communities and resulted in 3,500 people participating through a series of workshops, online and on-street surveys, and social media campaigns. This ensured that the report gave rich insights that reflected perspectives from those communities.
The Council and The Crown Estate have also announced that the project will be expanded to include Piccadilly Circus and Haymarket in its next phase, as they continue to work with residents, businesses, and visitors to unlock a landmark and transformational public realm and placemaking opportunity for the West End.
The development of the ‘Regent Street, Haymarket, and Piccadilly Circus Public Realm’ project will complement the emerging Oxford Street programme to ensure that the West End remains one of the world’s most exciting and successful destinations.
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Cabinet Member for City Management and Air Quality, said: “The Regent Street Public Realm Vision report represents a commitment to a more vibrant, sustainable, and inclusive urban environment, and we’re pleased to extend this to Haymarket and Piccadilly Circus.”
“We’ve worked extensively with members of the public to shape a vision that is based on what they want to see.
“We believe that our shared ambitions with The Crown Estate will not only enhance the quality of life for people who live and work in the area, but also contribute to the continued success of Regent Street as a global destination for retail.”
Simon Harding-Roots, Managing Director, London at The Crown Estate, said: “This report brings us a step closer to realising our collective ambitions for this historic street and its surrounding areas, mirroring the hopes and needs of all those that interact with the West End.
“It reflects our commitment to establishing a more accessible, sustainable and diverse London that better addresses the needs of everyone.”
“Our work with Westminster City Council, shaped by those that are at the heart of the West End, will deliver a public realm across Regent Street, Haymarket and Piccadilly Circus that is emblematic of the Capital’s position as a leading global city.”