Here is a vision for a new street. A place where cars and vehicles are no longer part of the urban landscape and where people can shape the street to their own needs and where collective city requirements change its topography. In Short, a flexible street with no personal automobiles or vehicles.

The street and the city have constantly changing needs during the day, night and throughout the year and yet the streets of today are static, inflexible, inefficient and somewhat antisocial. When the space for vehicles is no longer required, the vast remaining space has a vast potential for activities and other events to occur, transforming the street from a mere thoroughfare to a vibrant 'venue'.


The current structure of the street is a serious and problematic condition. Pedestrians, Cyclists, Car, Lorry, and Bus Drivers are in constant conflict with one another. Pedestrians in an average road have a third of the space available for their exclusive use even when there are more of them around. At the city scale, we find that 17% of London is covered in asphalt an area large enough to fit just under 42,000 football pitches and around 4,500,000 terraced houses.


Life in the street is an abstract term in itself and to try to understand, it is important to look at examples where people have taken over the street out of pure need or desire and at times a lack of government regulation such as the streets of Bangkok. Here, we see more happening than simple acts of travel unlike the vast expanses of La Defense and Parc de la Vilette in Paris. Nigel Henderson was also an observer of daily street life in east London documenting the way people especially children use the street as a place of enjoyment and play.

Street Conditions

No two streets are the same, although an obvious fact, a factor that cannot be overlooked. For this reason, it is imperative to create a catalogue of street types. I have identified six different street types although I acknowledge there are more street types which have not been identified in this particular case. It is an open catalogue, which can be added to. The six street types are Terraced House Street, Wide Residential, Intersection, Bridge, Blank Walls and High Street. I have chosen six specific sites from within the congestion charge where I would intervene.

Street Conditions Research

Within each category, I have looked at the current division between pedestrian and vehicular spaces, the occurring activities, the street elements or furniture accepting and rejecting them depending on its relevance and ability to be incorporated into the new street.

Street Conditions Research

Street Conditions Research

The Voxel

This is a mechanism with a piston allowing each voxel to rise and descent at least 2 metres from ground level. It also contains a track with surface plates allowing the surface of the voxel to be changed whenever required. This system would allow for complete flexibility and give power to people, companies, and institutions to hold their events, extend their spaces.

A second voxel was also developed with a 4 by 4 metre dimension. These can act as retail or as supporting areas for events such as a backstage area for a play or dressing room for a sports match.

The New Street

These views are of my vision of the new street. Multiple scenarios for each street condition have been created exploring local conditions and the way in which, for example a shop in Oxford Circus could host a fashion show outside its doorstep, one could expand his or her party from within his house to the external areas in front of his home, or the National Theatre could hold theatre workshops on Waterloo Bridge.

The New Street

An originally overlooked potential of a system of this type which I have also recently explored is the political side and power this system gives to a government. Where it can respond to disasters such as terrorist attacks, bomb scares, floods or smaller emergencies, medical, fire or police related, or is used as the platform for campaigns.

There would still be circulation of vehicles but only related to emergency services and the monarchy. Prime minister would have to take the new transport system.

The New Street/AA exhibition

We can take a more familiar event, such as the AA graduation day where the exhibition can extend to the street, the graduation ceremony, the photograph, the party can all occur on the vast space which lies outside.

This project is a series or rules and not a masterplan which can be applied in areas who may wish for such an intervention to occur where the space for cars is replaced by areas for activities and events for the city's people controlled and shaped by individuals or greater city needs.