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University for the Creative Arts

Allison Franks, Connor Hunter-French, David Obaro, Pierre Saison, Ming-Han Jon Yeh

The number of visitors to Oxford Street is growing, as is the homeless population in the area, resulting in increasing crime and traffic accidents on Europe’s most populated shopping street. Our project aims to solve this by increasing pedestrian space, redesigning transport options and providing dedicated spaces that help the homeless feel less isolated from society.

Transport for London and the Mayor of London have introduced plans to pedestrianise Oxford Street, making it a traffic-free zone, but many residents oppose the plans due to transport access issues. Our proposed solution, the Red Zone, addresses this issue by excavating the road to provide a lowered route for buses and taxis and a more fluent transport connection at Oxford Circus Underground Station. This would result in wider pavements, spacious crossover bridges, and a cascade of interconnecting terraced pavements leading down from the existing street level to the new road, forming spaces for engagement and activity below the main shopping streets.

In turn, these levels present an opportunity to create communal areas for the homeless, offering a place for them to congregate, make connections and even seek work. The idea is to tackle their isolation and loneliness, offer a sense of belonging, and provide a stable address from which they can build a path to the future.