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making space for people in the city

Hand drawn visualisation showing Baldwin Street, Bristol, with new tree planting, car parking space used for cafe seating and planting.
Our vision for a reconfigured Baldwin Street, Bristol

Around the world cycle lanes and widened footpaths are making our towns and cities safely accessible, but so far, the majority of these introductions are temporary. We firmly believe that the ‘new normal’ of pedestrian and cycle priority is the normal we want for the long term. However, not in its current form, with all the aesthetic appeal of road works and involving some very shouty signage.

So, what do we imagine?

Transition to a permanent pedestrian and cycle priority streetscape using green infrastructure to achieve the change, defining space with planting and trees. This has the combined effect of making a more pleasant environment and filtering noise and pollution from the remaining traffic. Where flexible, temporary or personalised space is needed, for example café seating, planters can be introduced, combined with seating, to give the necessary space and screening.

These changes, predominantly for human benefit, will have multiple benefits for wildlife and biodiversity. A network of green streets will connect parks and urban green spaces for birds and invertebrates too, giving access to a much wider habitat area.

A healthy city of the future on all fronts! What do you think?

Elizabeth Shelley

About the author

Elizabeth Shelley

Lizi is assistant landscape architect here at Novell Tullett and has a strong interest in the health and wellbeing benefits of natural environments.

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