Arup is developing a strategy that addresses both the immediate challenges around reopening the city centre and the longer-term opportunities to improve public space.
The strategy will initially focus on ways to bring people back into the city and support the reopening of businesses, taking social distancing into account.
Looking beyond Covid-19, it will seek to improve access to open space, digital networks, air quality, resilient infrastructure and active travel.
The concept for the immediate strategy centres on creating new spaces for pedestrians and the construction of welcome gateways to provide information, orientation and sanitation.
The longer-term strategy will aim to enhance the city centre experience, with options including creating a ‘loop’ of green public space around the city, repurposed streets that prioritise pedestrians and cyclists, consolidated logistics, and servicing linked to enhanced digital infrastructure and monitoring.
Sophie Camburn – Director, Integrated City Planning, said: “Our team has brought together a range of expertise to create a strategy that will help the council respond to challenges and opportunities as they prepare to begin the gradual process of reopening the city centre.”
Arup is now looking at how the first phase will be implemented, and the initial strategy will be presented to council cabinet for approval next month.