Leeds – An innovative new vision aimed at kickstarting a debate on the future of the city centre’s public spaces will be discussed by senior councillors in Leeds next week.
A report to Leeds City Council’s executive board looks at developing an approach for improving Leeds’s public realm and street design, and includes some dynamic artist’s impressions of what areas like Greek Street, Lower Basinghall Street, and lower Eastgate could look like in the future.
The report sets out a number of objectives that will help shape the strategy, including increasing connectivity for pedestrians between different parts of the city centre, removing clutter, and developing high quality buildings and spaces that can host major events.
Once finalised, other key aims of the strategy will include increasing footfall, creating new destinations and routes for visitors and shoppers and helping to stimulate further investment and economic growth.
The council hopes the strategy will also encourage the public to give the council their ideas about what they want to see happen to public spaces in the city centre.
Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, said:
“Leeds city centre has undergone some radical and exciting transformations in recent years, with developments like Trinity Leeds and the Arena Quarter creating a number of attractive new destinations for visitors.
“The evolution of the city centre will continue as flagship projects like Victoria Gate and the South Bank take shape and with that the need for pedestrians to be able to move freely around these destinations will become increasingly important.
“That’s why we want to work with key stakeholders to galvanize ideas and stimulate a public debate that will help inform this strategy. By doing that, we can develop a clear and consistent vision for the future development of our public spaces and street design, ensuring we have high quality environments that visitors, workers and shoppers can enjoy.”
At next week’s meeting, members of the executive board will be asked to support the development of a strategic plan for public realm improvements in the city centre as well as agreeing that the council engages with stakeholders on potential future projects and opportunities.
A further report will be brought to the executive board in the future detailing specific plans and potential costs.
Councillor Lewis added: “Leeds attracts millions of visitors each and every year and we have a proven track record for hosting world class events.
“We want to make sure that future projects will allow that reputation to grow and our city centre to develop as a place filled with lively spaces that will represent the exciting and dynamic city we know Leeds is.”
The council’s executive board will meet on October 21.