As the architect/planning head of Westminster Council's design and project management team for improving Leicester Square, I am convinced that the streets were reclaimed as a direct result of significant investment in pedestrianisation, and better lighting and management to improve night- time safety. These design factors, together with the political commitment to see them through, played the principal role in attracting investment to previously run- down buildings and the funding of alternatives to the previously shabby activities in the area.
Communicating design ideas is difficult. Undermining the link between good design and popularity in Leicester Square does great damage to the designer's dialogue with the public.
Civic Design Partnership
The writer was head of environmental design, Planning and Transport Department, Westminster, 1986-90.
(Photograph omitted)Reuse content