At HyPER we’ve been thinking about ways to build-on and improve the environment of our Estate. We’ve started by outlining some ideas below, and we would also welcome your ideas and feedback.
What is compelling is how much the environment could be improved once the through-traffic has been removed. This is why we believe that to have any meaningful improvements of our Estate we must first significantly reduce the volume of traffic, otherwise we are simply undertaking window-dressing. Read more about this aspect on our traffic page.
Connaught Village Piazza
We believe that there is huge potential in creating a new piazza at the junction of Kendal Street and Connaught Street, closing the road between Abasto and Le Pain. A new public space could be created which could be used for many community initiatives including a farmers’ market, al-fresco dining and other community events.
Whilst the Church Commissioners have been working on a “village green”, which we are supportive of in principle, we believe that it is nowhere near ambitious enough to stand the true test of time and make a real long-term positive impact. In reality the current proposals are some pavement widening and traffic calming, which whilst to be welcomed they do little to deal with the negative impact of large volumes of traffic and are unlikely to attract increased footfall in the numbers required to ensure the continued viability of the area.
Another area on the Estate which we believe has huge potential is that which is outside the Victoria pub. Currently this large public area is mainly occupied by a mini-roundabout (which despite its name consumes a lot of space) and a relatively small amount of car parking. By removing both of these, at relatively low non-financial cost, a very attractive public space could be created. As with all schemes that are to have any meaningful impact, it would first be necessary to deal with the high volumes of traffic in this location.
Food for thought
Finally, we leave you with an image of a garden square not far from the Hyde Park Estate. This is Fitzroy Square, just the other side of Portland Place. How could we improve our garden squares?