Engagement with the community in The Northbank is vital for the BID to undergo changes that directly benefit the environment in which regular and irregular users of the district work, live and play.
With this in mind, the team recently constructed a survey to understand the interaction and sentiment towards the area: why and how it is used, and how it can be improved. The results, mainly engaging with employers in the area and visitors passing through, shows that feature attractions, restaurants and views of the Thames are real draws to the area, with Theatres being another fantastic benefit. Whilst shops, perceived safety and access to green spaces stand out as the features that are favoured least and can be improved upon.
When asked how the area compares to other London BID’s there was mixed opinion with exactly half feeling The Northbank performed “better” or “much better” as a destination than others in London and 36% of neutral sentiment. Although 50% of the respondents reacted in a positive way, the spread of responses does underpin a number of opportunities for the district that can be progressed with time.
Given the chance to immediately change one element of The Northbank, respondents voted overwhelmingly to improve pedestrian access and interaction with the traffic system. The Strand has the luxury of wide pavements and utilising them effectively will make areas around the road more visitor friendly; suggestions included allowing cafes to spill into the pavements.
The Northbank team is looking to improve how pedestrians interact with the area, by working with public realm experts and the council we hope to draw crowds from the road and onto more visitor friendly pavements.
More ‘greenery’ and tackling the issue of rough sleeping are further areas to improve, with respondents believing that they would spend more time in the area should they be addressed, additionally public events and better shops.
Access to the river is an important element to spending time in central London and we are excited by the announcement of Heatherwick’s Garden Bridge going in for planning permission this month. Respondents of the survey have told us that this would encourage them to spend more time in the area and will be another feature attraction for central London.
If you would like to tell us your thoughts please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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