Bristol City Centre - Draft Public Realm and Movement Framework

Could you help shape the future of Bristol city centre?

Bristol City Council has set out a vision for Bristol city centre which rebalances the public realm in favour of the pedestrian and is inviting your comments.

The draft document was launched at a stakeholder event at the Old Council House earlier this week. I presented the document on behalf of the Council to an invited audience of people representing a range of community, business and amenity groups. The City Design Group and City Transport teams at the council have been working to develop the draft framework in response to community feedback to the Central Area Action Plan and to begin to show how our policy aspirations might be realised.

The draft Framework recognises that an attractive and walkable city centre will play a key role in shaping future competitive advantage, as other major cities across Europe have recognised. There is a significant body of international and national evidence that suggests that a high quality public realm is critical to economic, environmental and social wellbeing. The public realm is experienced by all of us most of the time. How well it is planned, designed, constructed and maintained affects our experience of the city and contributes greatly to its image, identity and quality of life it offers.

It seeks to build on the successful public realm projects of the last twenty years such as Queen Square, College Green and the Harbourside Walkway. Projects like these have transformed Bristol City Centre, contributing to a 43% increase in pedestrian flows, and attracting significant investment. The draft framework sets out an equally ambitious range of improvements over the next twenty years.

The document sets out seven pedestrian priority routes, and highlights 53 potential public realm projects along these routes. Particular areas of attention include the Old City (and in particular Corn Street), St. James' Barton roundabout, Old Market and the area around Temple Meads Station. Public realm projects range from small scale paving and clutter reduction projects to the removal of entire roundabouts.

Copies of the draft framework are available to read at the Architecture Centre, along with feedback forms to fill out. Alternatively, copies of the Public Realm and Movement Framework and feedback form can be downloaded at:

The consultation is being carried out in conjunction with a consultation on the Bristol Central Area Action Plan. The council will use your comments to support the continued development and refinement of both these documents.

I'm sure many of you are passionate about Bristol and will have something to say about our public realm and how it should be shaped in the future. I hope you will find aspects of the framework you can support and endorse; others you may feel need improving or removing. You might also feel we've missed something. Whatever your comment let us know by filling in a feedback form. Thanks for your time.

Deadline for comments:

Friday 20 April 2012


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