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Oxford Street district

Evidence base and proposed aspiration for the district

Oxford Street district

Evidence base and proposed aspiration for the district

Oxford Street is recognised as a global retail destination and contributes significantly to the economy of the West End, London and the UK. However, the street currently faces several challenges that constrain its economic performance and threaten its identity as one of the world’s leading retail and business districts. These challenges include an inadequate pedestrian environment, poor quality public realm, and an overstretched transport infrastructure, compounded by the opening of the Elizabeth Line in 2018.
In response to the West End Partnership’s 2030 Vision, Publica, working with Gerald Eve and Volterra, was commissioned by New West End Company to produce the report, A Future for the Oxford Street District and the accompanying website

The report proposes an ambitious future that would transform a single shopping street into a varied, entertaining and well-connected district of distinct neighbourhoods – a vibrant centre for civic life and commerce with the world’s best retail and culture destination at its heart. Actions that will help deliver this aspiration include environmental and public realm upgrades to reduce traffic, improve air quality, and to enhance wayfinding and connectivity for pedestrians and cyclists. The report proposes sensitively establishing a dynamic mix of uses across the district, together with a vibrant district-wide programme of cultural uses, activities and events to reinvigorate the area and safeguard its future.

Over two years Publica has gathered a vast amount of data through extensive fieldwork on Oxford Street and its surrounding area. Through a range of methods, including mapping, photography, and ethnographic note-taking, we have developed an atlas of information on the current context of Oxford Street – summarised in a report titled Oxford Street Today. This rich evidence base underpins the proposed aspiration for the district, providing a clear case for change and helping to build consensus and a shared commitment to realise a new future for Oxford Street and its surrounding areas.

  • Title: 'A Future For the Oxford Street District' and 'Oxford Street Today'
  • Location: City of Westminster and London Borough of Camden, London
  • Year: 2015–ongoing
  • Client: New West End Company, Grosvenor, Derwent London, the Portman Estate, Selfridges, Almacantar, Great Portland Estates, Shaftesbury, Primark, Arcadia Group, Ponte Gadea, Marks & Spencer, the Fitzrovia Partnership, Kenningham Retail, Element Capital, and Lazari Investments