Regent Street Public Realm Improvements, London West End Landscape Plans

Regent Street Public Realm Plans

10 Oct 2020

Regent Street Landscape Plans

Location: Regent St, West London, England, UK

Regent Street plans unveiled to deliver a greener, cleaner, safer and more accessible West End

10th October 2020 – The Crown Estate and Westminster City Council have unveiled plans to transform London’s iconic Regent Street – helping to deliver their shared vision for a greener, cleaner, safer and more accessible West End.

Regent Street landscape improvement
image courtesy of BDP

Set to complete before Christmas, the new designs will deliver significant improvements for safety, accessibility and air quality, introducing:

– Wider pavements – creating approximately 5,000 square meters of additional space for pedestrians, to improve visitors’ experience, support social distancing and improve accessibility.

– Reduced traffic – with road space cut to a single vehicle lane in each direction

– Improved provision for cyclists – including the introduction of cycle lanes and new cycle parking hubs and stands.

– Enhancing bus stops – with accessible boarding and space for waiting

Sustainable tree planting and greenery will also be introduced helping to boost biodiversity, improve air quality, and further enhance Regent’s Street’s iconic John Nash design. New seating will also be installed, creating places for people to pause and rest.

Construction commenced on the new designs this week, following on from the measures put in place to widen pavements using temporary barriers.

This is the latest initiative in The Crown Estate’s continued investment in Regent Street, which it manages on behalf of the Regent Street Partnership – comprised of The Crown Estate and Norges Bank Investment Management.

The new interim designs build on other recent initiatives within The Crown Estate’s Central London portfolio to support sustainable travel, such as the introduction of BIKE-DROP – a new pop-up concept, offering convenient, safe and secure bike parking.

James Cooksey, Director of Central London at The Crown Estate, said: “As we continue to invest for the future, we, along with our partners, saw a great opportunity to build upon recent experiences of reduced traffic and improved air quality.
“We are hugely proud of these latest plans for Regent Street, which will make more space for pedestrians, reduce traffic, improve facilities for cyclists and introduce more greenery – helping to reinforce the compelling offer of the West End and further secure our place as one of the country’s best loved destinations.

“This is just the beginning, as we experiment with new technologies and treatments, to create the place of tomorrow.”

Regent Street Public Realm Plans
image courtesy of BDP

The Leader of the Council, Cllr Rachael Robathan, said: “We welcome this investment in Regent Street by The Crown Estate to create a safe, green and inspiring environment in a key location within the West End. These new interim measures replace the arrangements that the Council put in place to support the reopening of the city earlier this summer and takes them to an enhanced level. It is through this strong collaborative approach, working closely with residents, businesses and other partners that we will help to secure the successful future of this world-renowned destination.”

Nick Edwards, chair of landscape architecture at BDP, said: “The collaboration between The Crown Estate, Westminster City Council and their design team has resulted in an outstanding design solution for this temporary and necessary enhancement to Regent Street. The layout will safely support pedestrian movement whilst ensuring that lush greening and new seating enhances the experience of, what is arguably, London’s most famous retail destination.

“Attractive planting from Langham Place to Waterloo Place will support London’s Wild West End initiative, reinforcing the ethos that being close to nature helps to make people feel happier, enriches user experience and will support retail businesses in the process.”

Regent Street Landscape Improvements – Team

About The Crown Estate
• The Crown Estate is a £14bn business with a distinct heritage and unique portfolio. It includes some of central London’s best places to work, shop and spend time, regional retail and leisure destinations, and a substantial rural and coastal portfolio.
• We manage the seabed and half the foreshore around England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and therefore play an active role in the UK’s world-leading offshore wind sector as well as marine aggregates, cables and pipelines. We are also responsible for the Windsor Estate, including the world renowned Windsor Great Park.
• Established by an Act of Parliament, as an independent commercial business, we are tasked with returning 100% of our annual profits to the Treasury for the benefit of the public finances. This has totalled £2.9bn over the last ten years.

About The Crown Estate’s Central London portfolio
• In London, The Crown Estate is the largest landowner in the core West End, with a portfolio that includes all of Regent Street and around half of St James’s, totalling circa 9.9m sq. ft.
• Over the last decade, we’ve been investing £1.5bn to deliver an ambitious plan to transform our portfolio. We have built upon the outstanding heritage of our destinations, to deliver a modern, connected West End that is designed around the needs of the people who live, work and visit – now and for generations to come.
• We have also been working to make the West End greener and more sustainable through improvements the public spaces, accessibility, air quality and biodiversity of the West End and our investment programme continues to drive change in central London and bring people to the city, with the development of new office and retail accommodation and public spaces, and the sensitive rejuvenation of heritage buildings.
• The Crown Estate manages Regent Street on behalf of the Regent Street Partnership, which comprises The Crown Estate and Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), which holds a 25% leasehold interest in the street.

About Norges Bank Investment Management
• Norges Bank Investment Management is the asset management division of Norges Bank, the Norwegian central bank. As manager of the Government Pension Fund Global, its mission is to safeguard and build financial wealth for future generations in Norway. Norges Bank Investment Management aims for the highest possible long-term return within the investment mandate set by the Ministry of Finance.

The fund is invested globally in equity, fixed income and real estate and had assets worth 10,400 billion kroner, or about £880 billion, as at 30 June 2020. Norges Bank Investment Management was given a mandate to invest in unlisted real estate in 2010. It has gradually been building a global real estate portfolio and had £25 billion invested in real estate as at 30 June 2020.

Regent Street Public Realm Plans images and information received 101020

Images: BDP

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