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As Grosvenor took back management of London’s second largest garden square, it launched in 2017 a public call for ideas in a campaign it called `Shaping the Square’, seeking ideas to help create London’s leading public space. It also polled 1,000 Londoners, interviewed locals and talked to visitors, to gather their ideas on how this public space could be used. Grosvenor did so in the context of a 20 year vision to transform its London estate and tackle the pressures facing the capital. With the London’s rapid growth, Grosvenor wants its estate in Mayfair and Belgravia to work harder for its communities and all Londoners by adapting – with better streets, greener spaces and more active and enterprising places that appeal to all.
The return of Grosvenor Square to Grosvenor’s management from The Royal Parks presents a remarkable opportunity to define, refine and improve the historic square’s civic, aesthetic and cultural contribution to Mayfair, the West End, London and the world. Change is coming to Mayfair and the West End, whether through the opening of new stations on the Elizabeth Line, the refurbishment of the former US Embassy or the proposed improvement of Oxford Street. Grosvenor would like to explore the scale of the opportunity to reinstate this public space in the imaginations of Londoners, as part of the fabric of Mayfair and the West End. It would like to shift perceptions amongst some that Mayfair and Grosvenor Square can be imposing and unwelcoming places.
Grosvenor is calling on urban visionaries, whether individuals, groups or companies, to submit ideas strategies, projects, experiments and solutions to reinstate Grosvenor Square as one of London’s leading squares.
Ideas should consider implementation over the short, medium and long term.
Ideas should be informed, but not constrained by, public polling in 2017 which showed:
- Grosvenor Square has a low profile, out of proportion to its size – 25,000 square metres of green space in the heart of the West End and near to Oxford Street. It is perceived by some to be imposing and unwelcoming.
- Those polled want the best green space, more wildlife and a haven from the bustle of London – and they also want flexibility, events, culture and food that reflect London’s appeal as a global city.
- Grosvenor Square should be more inclusive and could help change perceptions of Mayfair as excluding – people are attracted to public spaces that attract diversity.
- The most popular public spaces in London are surrounded by the best leisure, food and amenities – what’s outside the square is as important as what is inside.
- Escaping, socialising, being free to choose when and how people experience world culture – these are Londoners’ calls for
action for Grosvenor Square.
Visit the Competition website for more information.