What's next for Soho?
The council is asking for local views to help design its £2 million 'Vision for Soho'. This is our chance to call for healthy, people-friendly streets...
At a community workshop last week in Soho, Westminster City Council set out a startling timeline and budget to come up with an area-wide redesign for Soho's streets. After three waves of community engagement in the summer and early autumn, the council intends to have an agreed masterplan as soon as mid-November. The budget is £2 million.
After decades of debate in Soho, followed by the temporary but radical changes of the al fresco scheme (ending in September) and the labour of love that is the final Soho Neighbourhood Plan, it looks like a new and ambitious plan might be emerging. It promises to be based on all those past conversations and on the Neighbourhood Plan. But no specific designs will be drawn up until this engagement is finished and there are agreed principles to base them on - the council says this is all about 'co-design'.
However, without local support - especially from residents - it looks like it won't go ahead. So please get involved!
How can I help shape Soho?
Please respond to the online survey at https://visionforsoho.co.uk/ before Friday 13 August. Questions cover what makes walking or cycling difficult around Soho, where could public realm be greened, where are there opportunities for climate action, and more.
Or you can feedback by email on VisonforSoho@kandaconsulting.co.uk
Please support our 'Soho Streets for People' vision
Our Soho Streets for People group is growing. We're meeting more and more local people who want Soho's streets to prioritise human beings over motor traffic, to be greener, easier for walking, cycling or getting around with a mobility aid, and 'climate safe' or zero carbon. We believe it's possible to be green and people-friendly while still enabling local businesses to receive deliveries and for Soho to function and even thrive. Find out more and join us here!
We need local people to get involved who are ready to change the status quo. There will always be people who resist change - change can be unnerving at first - and if the council only hears their voices, Soho might never get the chance it deserves to be transformed. Check out our Streets for People vision - if you agree with our five principles below, join the mailing list and find out how we can work together to get our voices heard.
Our five principles
Soho Streets for People supports any scheme that achieves these:
- Much less traffic and cleaner air across the whole of Soho
- Walking, cycling and disabled access made safe and attractive, with people
prioritised over motor vehicles
- Space reclaimed from motor vehicles to create a better public realm for
residents and businesses
- Access retained for residents' vehicles, emergency services, deliveries &
waste collection - with deliveries and waste using cleaner, more
- All changes to the streetscape to be consistent with Soho’s Conservation
Area status, respecting Soho’s unique history and character.