Cllr George Fielding, Cllr Charlotte Gerada and Annabel Innes, Director of FORM+FUNCTION have launched a Crowdfunder to bring Living Streets to Southsea! It will be for two locations in Portsmouth on Albert Road and Highland Road and the crowdfunder will be set at £30k with an aim to achieve the target within 8 weeks. Check out the crowdfunder by clicking here.

The project aims to increase greening in the area, encourage active travel, support local businesses and provide outdoor seating to bring the local community together, by regenerating existing urban spaces on these highstreets.

The first site will be on Albert Road, outside Southsea Cycles, where the existing pavement extension and one car parking space will be temporarily used to enable the enhancements. The second site will run on the private land outside the shops on Highland Road, from Goulds Jewellers to Bengal Spice.

Charlotte and George are really excited to be working with Annabel, who led the incredible regeneration of Orchard Park. The designs came from a competition organised with Portsmouth University School of Architecture students. Masters students Jack Clark and Charlotte Hubbard as team ‘Circulus’ won first place, creating a modular design which responds to the individual needs of both pilot locations. They’re working in collaboration with local partners and international architecture offices to develop their ideas, in consultation with the nearby businesses.

Please support the crowdfunder if you can and share it with everyone you know! Please also let Charlotte and George know if you get involved. More information can be found by clicking here.

There have been months of consultation with local businesses, alongside the other members of the core Living Streets Project team, which includes: Cllr George Fielding and Cllr Charlotte Gerada, ward councillors for Central Southsea; Annabel Innes, Director of FORM+FUNCTION; and Guido Robazza, Senior Lecturer in Architecture at Portsmouth University.

Annabel Innes, Director of FORM+FUNCTION, said: We’ve engaged extensively with residents and businesses about the idea of Living Streets and there is widespread support. They are working elsewhere to be the catalyst for behaviour change around how people travel to their local shops and they’re bringing much-needed community spaces to streets.

“The approach with Living Streets is that they are designed by the local community – students, residents, organisations and businesses – so they serve the needs of any given area. Often there is pavement or existing space that can be repurposed to transform urban areas in a way unique to the micro-communities they hope to benefit.”

Cllr George Fielding, Leader of the Labour Group, said: “Living Streets are a fantastic provision to green built up urban areas, enhance cycling provision and provide vital outside seating space for communities and local businesses. Similar projects have been a big success in London and nearby councils are adopting them too – such as in Eastleigh and Gosport.

“Albert Road and Highland Road are prime locations for Living Streets as there is already space on the pavement that could be repurposed, to work better for businesses and residents alike. Outdoor space and green space in Portsmouth is in short supply. By introducing Living Streets, we can make Albert Road even more of a visitor destination.”

Cllr Charlotte Gerada, a Labour councillor and Labour’s Spokesperson for Climate Change and Green Recovery, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has emphasised the importance of outdoor space to allow people to congregate safely. We’ve seen residents’ behaviour change as a response to the pandemic, where more of us are appreciating nature, using forms of active travel and better appreciating outside space.

“Now is the time to capitalise on this behaviour change, having more multi-purpose outside spaces and provision to bring our communities together. Living Streets would be a brilliant addition to our city, to add pockets of green in built up areas, enhance urban biodiversity and provide outside seating space for our local businesses during this challenging economic time.”

Guido Robazza, Senior Lecturer in Architecture at Portsmouth University, said: “Circulus’ proposal puts in place an excellent set of functions that can stimulate local life and offer opportunities of interaction among the community, with everything from bolstering the local economy to tackling loneliness.

“The Living Streets design is modular and therefore incredibly flexible to the needs of local businesses, residents and the needs of any given area. We hope that this project will inspire others across the city to see how urban spaces can be improved – to better support our community, businesses and the environment.”

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