Over the last year, we’ve been working with the brilliant Cross River Partnership (CRP) team to showcase the impact of streetscape interventions across London, as part of CRP’s Defra-funded Clean Air Villages 3 (CAV3) programme. CRP is a non-profit and impartial partnership organisation that delivers positive change for London’s residents, businesses and visitors.
The CAV3 programme set out to reduce congestion and pollution across the capital. It took place between April 2020 and March 2021 and targeted 16 different London ‘villages’, where both air pollution and population density levels are high.
One of the areas CRP and VivaCity monitored is Soho, looking at the impact of Westminster City Council (WCC)’s al fresco dining scheme. To enable pedestrians to support hospitality businesses and also minimise the COVID-19 risk, WCC pedestrianised some of Soho’s streets from 5-11pm in the evenings and 12-11pm on the weekends. CRP and WCC worked together to find the best place to locate a VivaCity sensor, which was installed on the junction between Old Compton Street and Dean Street, with two ‘count lines’ able to show movements and traffic interactions on both streets.
At a pivotal moment for supporting the hospitality sector, the VivaCity monitoring programme allowed WCC to see the impact of their streetscape interventions. VivaCity data found that the timing of the outdoor al fresco dining scheme coincided with almost zero cars, due to the impact of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone and congestion charge in Soho, and a significant rise in pedestrians. There were also notably more pedestrians on the weekends due to the space being open longer and availability of the public to visit. One of the sensors is remaining in place until September 2021 to continue to monitor the returning al fresco dining scheme.
Fiona Coull, Project Manager, Cross River Partnership, commented: “Our partnership with VivaCity was a fantastic way to provide highly-accurate data to help Westminster City Council monitor streetscape interventions, support hospitality and ensure that the risk of COVID-19 was as low as possible. Looking ahead, we’re excited for future developments of our cities, as we all work together to lower pollution and make cities safer.”
VivaCity’s sensor data was provided in a real-time dashboard, and CRP’s data analysis and reports for its CAV3 sites continues to enable partners to assess, monitor and evaluate the benefits and costs of active travel, sustainable transport and business support schemes.
About Cross River Partnership
Cross River Partnership(CRP) is a sub-regional, public-private partnership that is engaging with People, delivering innovative Projects, and shaping great Places: Delivering London’s Future Together.
CRP was originally formed to implement cross river infrastructure projects such as the Millennium Bridge and has since diversified to deliver a wide range of environmental, economic and community regeneration projects. Their programmes transect themes such as Place Making, Health and Wellbeing, Air Quality, Diversity and Inclusion, Freight, Transport and Active Travel, Energy, Environment, Culture, and Lighting. Visit their project page for more information on initiatives being delivered with their partners and collaborators.
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