img(height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=2939831959404383&ev=PageView&noscript=1")

Arterial Holloway Road becomes clean, green, safe, happy space

Header Image

Words:
Hugh Pearman

PeopleMatter. is Rethink 2025 streets scale winner with proposal to turn traffic corridors into quality public space – which looks realistic now that coronavirus has reduced commuting

A broad highway out of London – the Holloway Road, part of the Great North Road, now A1, which stretches 410 miles to Edinburgh – is also an important local shopping street which boasts its own university, London Metropolitan, has several rail and Underground stations, and passes through a densely-populated residential area. In its submission for Rethink 2025, practice PeopleMatter. – Naomi Rubbra and Leopold Taylor – take the road as an example of what could be done in any city that’s serious about properly redesigning its streets to make high quality public space for those living either side of such traffic corridors. 

As you might expect from a team including the winner of the Dissertation Medal in the 2019 RIBA President’s Medals, their proposal is meticulously set out.  After we have allocated the extra space, she reasons, we need to make those changes part of a permanent uplift of the area. ‘As we adapt to clean, active methods of getting around, how can the spaces we live in and move through give more to their local community?’ they ask. These plans have yet to address the need for quality of public space alongside these newly formed routes. ‘Streets are Made for Walking offers a framework to capitalize on this newly found urban condition and accelerate a transition towards cleaner, greener, safer and happier streets.’

They envisage doing this in two phases – the first reactive phase to 2025 making ­permanent the initially temporary changes to the streets, followed by a further phase through to 2035 in which these new more liveable and breathable neighbourhoods are linked in a series of lateral rings.

In this way the radial roads out from the centre diminish in importance as the centre itself does, and the lateral connections increase in importance. With reduced amounts of commuting into the centres of cities now envisaged, this realignment becomes feasible and desirable: Rubbra and Taylor design it to a high level of practical detail as a template for the city as a whole. 

Because of this the Rethink 2025 judges saw this scheme as the best ‘greening the streets’ proposal.  ‘Beautifully detailed’ said Matt Jones. ‘If you can crack the Holloway Road, everywhere else can do it too.’ ‘It deals with mobility and health which are key themes of coronavirus,’ said Francine Houben. And for Ed Clark, ‘Of the cluster of high street projects, this is the most sophisticated.’


See more ideas for Rethink 2025

Latest

Construction could take just two weeks – and two workers – when ‘road test’ issues are fixed

Construction could take just two weeks – and two workers

It’s time to push reset on our industry on the issues surrounding professional indemnity insurance

It’s time to push reset on PII

Are you a modernist or a conservationist? Why not both? We need continuity in architecture

Conservationism and modernism sit side by side

Clearer guidance on fire and building safety is still required, but breather wall membranes can have a key role to play

Breather membranes have key role in fire safety

Rich and characterful engineered French oak, textured, deeply coloured patinated steel and large format glazing: three procurement tips from MICA’s Stuart Cade

Three procurement favourites from the director of MICA Architects