Sidcup’s town centre was suffering from market failure, causing economic and urban decline, and it needed multi-faceted investment to support regeneration. The solution took advantage of the fact that Sidcup’s curving high street follows a hill-top ridge, providing views over the Thames and Cray River valley landscapes. The high street’s hinterland includes key commercial, recreational and cultural attractions, which it needed to connect with and relate to better. The design strategy improves overall access, use and appearance across the high street and restores the civic and social fabric. It has driven regeneration, bringing confidence, enterprise and additional inward investment.
The public benefits from a healthier, higher-quality setting with enhanced functionality and safety, renewed market confidence and increased employment. Environmentally, the scheme reduces the albedo effect and flood risk, improves air quality and micro-climate, and supports biodiversity.
Approximate Map Location
Sidcup HIgh Street, London Borough of Bexley
London Borough of Bexley
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Landscape Institute Award 2016
£2 million for public realm and £350k for shop fronts
Approx 0.65 hectares for the P1 delivered public realm works area (excluding GIFA of shops / businesses under the programme), plus approx 0.88hectares for additional extended proposed P2 scope area to designed total of 1.53 hectares.
To produce a Sidcup High StreetDesign & Identity Guide; to develop fully coordinated public realm designs, including roadways, footways, hard and soft landscape, street furniture and signage,for the Sidcup Town Area Renewal Scheme (STARS)Phase 3; to design 30-40 shop front improvements under three separate business grant award categories.
Landscape practice: Untitled Practice; client: London Borough of Bexley; transport engineer: Urban Movement; graphic design: Studio April, Designed by Good People, Polimekanos; artist/maker: Kieren Jones; business support: Retail Revival; contractors: FM Conway, Shades Group, All London Signs
London Borough of Bexley
Community engagement was fundamental to the project. A disused High Street betting shop became the base for temporary uses which evolved through the project’s growth: White Box for consultations and meetings; Business Incubator to encourage start-ups; Box Shop to enable new traders; finally, Sidcup & Co, for local entrepreneurs.
Consultations informed project identity, business support, shop front improvements, and public realm improvements, with site walk-abouts, participatory photography and mappings, collaborative model-making, documentation of priorities, and review of emerging design work. We produced a Design and Identity Guide to provide a coordinated framework for the programme’s subsequent developments.