Culture Mile Look and Feel Strategy for the Public Realm
City of London
Jamie Robinson, Head of Business Employment & Skills
Fluid lead; with Contemporary Art Society (CAS), Arup landscape, digital and security, Alan Baxter transport and heritage and SEAM Lighting design.
Christina Norton / Afolabi Spence
Shortlisted for New London Architecture Annual Awards Culture Category 2019, Commendation in Landscape Institute Annual Awards, 2019
Fluid (and our consultant team) worked closely with the City of London team to develop the Cultural Placemaking Strategy for Culture Mile. The strategy is part of a City-wide programme of public realm improvements across the Square Mile including improving air quality through a new Low Emission Neighbourhood around the Barbican and Golden Lane Estate area.
The Strategy sets out how Culture Mile will celebrate its rich culture, history, architectural character from the roman London Wall, Victorian Smithfield Market and Brutalist Barbican, to the new Museum of London and Centre for Music. It celebrates its contemporary life and local culture, becoming a place to discover and explore using digital and interactive media and public art. A activated and animated cultural spine will connect key institutions, help navigate and form a world-renowned destination that relishes its contrasts and places culture at its heart.
The strategy objectives will:
- Greatly improve the public spaces providing a fitting welcome and enhanced environment for visitors to the cultural institutions in the area.
- Create a linear public space stretching from Farringdon to Moorgate and bringing the activity of cultural institutions to the streets.
- Activate and animate the public realm to become a destination itself.
- Enhance the area’s social, cultural and architectural history to be a place where culture is produced as well as consumed.
- Improve the environment and urban realm across Culture Mile through a programme that delivers better wayfinding, signage, green spaces, lighting, public information and art installations.
- Implement ambitious planning policy that will enable diverse activities.
- Embed smart infrastructure to help curate vibrant activity.
- Promote ambitious environmental credentials and innovative solutions to funding and delivery.
Fluid developed the strategy through structured and interactive workshops with City officers and local representatives, including the Barbican and Smithfield Market. A series of targeted engagement events were held to test the public’s response to both the emerging vision and Culture Mile pop-up programme.
The strategy has gained £90m finding from the City of London and delivery of the Smithfield Public Realm and Beech Street improvements are under way. The quick win programme has been very successful and is grown from year to year.