Crowdfunder launches to bring living streets to Portsmouth
|Posted: Mar 7, 2022 5:52 PM|
On Monday 7th March 2022 a Crowdfunder will be launched to bring Living Streets to two locations in Portsmouth on Albert Road and Highland Road. The Crowdfunder will be set at £30,000 with the aim of reaching the goal within 8 weeks.
The project aims to increase greening in the area, encourage active travel, support local businesses and provide outdoor seating to bring the local community together, by regenerating existing urban spaces on these main streets.
The first site will be on Albert Road, outside Southsea Cycles, where the extension of the existing roadway and a parking space will be temporarily used to enable the improvements. The second site will take place on the private land outside the Highland Road shops, from Goulds Jewelers to Bengal Spice.
The designs for the project emerged from a competition run by social enterprise FORM+FUNCTION for students at the University of Portsmouth School of Architecture to design a series of spaces with the aim of revitalizing and green local streets, provide community spaces and support local businesses.
Sixteen proposals were submitted and second-year Masters students Jack Clark and Charlotte Hubbard, as the ‘Circulus’ team, won first place, creating a modular design that meets the individual needs of the two pilot sites. They work in collaboration with local partners and international architectural firms to develop their ideas, in consultation with nearby businesses.
There have been months of consultation with local businesses, alongside the other members of the core Living Streets project team, which includes: Cllr George Fielding and Cllr Charlotte Gerada, Ward Councilors for Central Southsea; Annabel Innes, director of FORM+FUNCTION; and Guido Robazza, lecturer in architecture at the University of Portsmouth.
Annabel Innes, director of FORM+FUNCTION and manager of the Orchard Park basketball court regeneration project last year, says:
“We have engaged extensively with residents and businesses about the idea of Living Streets and there is broad support. They are working elsewhere to be the catalyst for behavior change in how people get to their local stores and they are bringing much needed community spaces to the streets.
“The approach with Living Streets is that they are designed by the local community – students, residents, organizations and businesses – so that they meet the needs of a given area. Often there are existing sidewalks or spaces that can be repurposed to transform urban areas in unique ways to the micro-communities they hope to benefit. »
Cllr George Fielding, leader of the Labor group, says:
“”Living streets are a fantastic offering for greening built-up urban areas, improving bicycle provision and providing vital outdoor seating for local communities and businesses. Similar projects have been very successful in London and neighboring councils are also adopting them – such as in Eastleigh and Gosport.
“Albert Road and Highland Road are prime locations for Living Streets as there is already pavement space that could be repurposed, to work better for businesses and residents. Outdoor spaces and green spaces in Portsmouth are scarce. By introducing Living Streets we can make Albert Road an even more touristic destination.
Cllr Charlotte Gerada, Union Advisor and Union Spokesperson for Climate Change and Green Recovery, says:
“The Covid-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of outdoor space to allow people to gather safely. We have seen resident behavior change in response to the pandemic, where more of us are appreciating nature, using forms of active travel, and appreciating outdoor space more.
“Now is the time to capitalize on this change in behavior, by having more multi-purpose outdoor spaces and provisions to bring our communities together. Living Streets would be a brilliant addition to our city, to add pockets of greenery to built-up areas, enhance urban biodiversity, and provide outdoor seating for our local businesses during these difficult economic times.
Guido Robazza, Lecturer in Architecture at the University of Portsmouth, says:
“The Circulus proposal puts in place an excellent set of functions that can stimulate local life and provide opportunities for interaction within the community, ranging from strengthening the local economy to combating loneliness.
“The design of Living Streets is modular and therefore incredibly flexible to the needs of local businesses, residents and the needs of a given area. We hope this project will inspire others across the city to see how urban spaces can be improved – to better support our community, our businesses and the environment.
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