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Northbank

Vision for the Northbank and Public Realm Strategy

Northbank

Vision for the Northbank and Public Realm Strategy

The Northbank – an area stretching between Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden, the Thames, and Aldwych –
is a district on the cusp of significant change. Several
 new infrastructural projects, such as the removal of
 the Aldwych gyratory, and a number of large-scale developments, such as the LSE and King’s College masterplans, have the potential to radically redefine the setting, uses and perceptions of this part of London. If all of the proposed projects in the Northbank are delivered, the area will undergo the most significant transformation since the innovations of the Victorians, when the area was reinvented by the momentous construction of Bazalgette’s Embankment and the building of Aldwych.

Publica was commissioned by The Northbank BID to create the Northbank Public Realm Vision and Strategy, building upon a detailed, first-stage public realm study that investigated the district’s layered history and varied character areas, and identified challenges and opportunities across the site.

The vision and strategy consider how the public life of the district could be transformed and the area’s identity in the West End redefined. It suggests opportunities for integrating and programming key spaces for creative, cultural and intellectual exchange, and celebrating the urban promenade of spectacle and display through the key routes of the district. This report culminates in a series of 40 considered, strategic interventions for five key geographic locations across the district. These include large-scale projects at the Aldwych gyratory and the Victoria Embankment River Promenade, smaller scale works upgrading alleys, lanes and courts, as well as improvements to key routes through the district at Strand, Arundel Street and Villiers Street. 

To read Publica's vision and strategy, and the inital area survey, please visit The Northbank BID website.

  • Title: Northbank Public Realm Vision and Strategy
  • Location: City of Westminster, London
  • Year: 2014–2015
  • Client: The Northbank BID