- What if we lived in a city with a little less pollution and a little more green?
- What if we better supported and enjoyed Portsmouth’s local independent businesses?
- What if we transformed under-used urban spaces into compact community hubs?
- How can the Living Streets Portsmouth project do all this?
Portsmouth needs to reduce carbon emissions, support local biodiversity and encourage forms of active travel in order to adequately respond to the climate emergency.
Our project is intended as a pilot scheme to show how Living Streets can be of huge social and environmental benefit to residents. When we show what can be done in our first two locations - Albert Road and Highland Road - we’d like to create more Living Streets throughout Portsmouth.
Living Streets aims to tackle 4 key areas
- Encourage active travel
- Green our streets
- Support local businesses
- Bring our community together
- Why and how do we need to encourage active travel?
In some parts of Portsmouth, pollution levels are higher than they are in London.
The city is densely populated and while many of us need to own a vehicle, they cause congestion and contribute to over 50% of air pollution. We desperately need to transform the way we travel and actively work to reduce the city’s carbon emissions.
As individuals, we each have a responsibility to change how we live on a day to day basis to reduce the further onset of dangerous climate change. We can all play our part together and then many small changes will multiply into a large contribution.
Living Streets will provide ample (and safe) bike storage racks, provide benches for walkers of all abilities to rest, ensure sufficient wheelchair, wheeler and walker access, and create micro-habitats for foliage, bugs and other local wildlife.
- Why and how do we need to green our streets?
Portsmouth has limited green spaces and the built-up nature of our city means lots of neighbourhoods don't have a park nearby.
Lack of green spaces has a considerable effect on our daily quality of life AND has a very damaging effect on biodiversity. Biodiversity - the variety of life that can be found on Earth (plants, animals, fungi and micro-organisms) - continues to decline in every region of the world, significantly reducing nature’s capacity to contribute to our well-being.
And so while we’re facing a world-wide climate crisis, we’re also facing a national ecological crisis - with the UK only having about half its natural biodiversity left. Urgent action is required to support and nurture local ecosystems.
Living Streets will provide planters for a range of greenery including cabbages to attract butterflies, flowers to attract bees, foliage to provide shade, bird boxes, bat boxes and bug hotels.
- Why and how do we need to support local businesses?
Living Streets could be an important part of the city’s economic recovery from the global pandemic as an initiative that builds on the behaviour change during the lockdowns - balancing supporting our local economy and the environment.
Portsmouth has a thriving independent business sector, which needs help to recover from the impact of lockdowns, restrictions and the ongoing consequences of Covid-19. We need to support our local business owners and their staff so that our local economy can grow and strengthen.
Living Streets will provide outside seating for businesses, amplify their profiles within the city, encourage positive social behaviour around their premises and create micro-destinations within the city.
Highland Road businesses supporting and benefiting from Living Streets:
Goulds Jewellers - Broadway Coffee Roasters - Top Mark's Hairdressers - Southsea Nets and Curtains - The Clock Shop - Bengal Spice - RPM Records
- Why and how do we need to bring our community together?
Our city needs to find new and innovative ways to bring our diverse communities together in ways that are safe and accessible. Portsmouth has an incredibly supportive, friendly and socially-minded population which, after the isolating effect of Covid-19, we have come to appreciate now more than ever.
Living Streets has already brought 13 local businesses, the University of Portsmouth and a panel of 7 practising (local and national) architects together to develop and arrive at the final designs you can see further down on this page.
We’ve had a design competition open to all UoP architecture students, feedback from Portsmouth City Council urban design members as well as experts in independent practice, and community consultation meetings throughout the design process.
Living Streets has already brought together different parts of our local community, and the project will offer more to bring people together once realised by tackling loneliness and engaging community gardening groups to help with the long-term up-keep.
Living Streets are working elsewhere (such as London, Manchester and Southampton) to be the catalyst for behaviour change around how people travel to their local shops and bringing much-needed community spaces to city streets. Now’s the time to bring them to Pompey!
We aim to complete our Living Streets pilot project ready for everyone to enjoy by Summer 2022.
This project is trial, starting in two locations (in Central Southsea and Milton) but we hope that once the Living Streets are installed, local residents and businesses will see how brilliant they are. We want build a movement for Living Streets across the city and look to support other wards to bring them to their local areas too.
- Who is working to bring Living Streets to Portsmouth?
IDL: Architecture London
Sean Clubb Senior Associate
...and many, many friends.
Living Streets logo and illustrations by @studioslaughterhouse
- How much are we Crowdfunding for and where will it be spent?
We're crowdfunding £30k towards the cost of the design, build, materials and installation across both the Albert Road and Highland Road sites, as well as the ongoing maintenance costs.
Every pound and penny our wonderful Pompey community can chip in will make all the difference in helping bring Living Streets to life.
For more information or enquiries as to how you can help please contact:
You can also follow our journey on Instagram @livingstreetsproject