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Norwich city centre public spaces plan

Foreword

The city centre public space plan sets out the council’s approach to managing space within the city centre, including green spaces, areas of future development, and the city’s main walking, cycling and traffic routes.

You can download the full plan as a PDF or view it as web pages, which do not include the maps or images.

City Centre

Our impressions of a city are formed mainly by the quality of public spaces. If they are not pleasant, protected and promoted we rarely return.

In Norwich, this has been long understood. Starting with the pioneering  pedestrianisation of London Street in 1967, the city council has progressively made the city centre better for people  to walk and cycle around. Predictions of  economic damage if cars were restricted have not come to pass. The city centre  has thrived offering a diverse mix of retail, social and cultural experiences. 

However, in the shadow of Covid-19, which has impacted on the city economy and accelerated trends that were evident before the pandemic, more people may be living, working and shopping online from home. This plan is a response to those trends.

Over the next five years there are a range of different funding streams with the ambition to retain, refresh and renew the city centre and its public spaces. By way of illustration the report describes the proposals for projects at Tombland and the area under the Magdalen Street flyover.

This is not a new strategy. Its purpose is to bring together in a simple, colourful and clearly designed way an overarching view of what is planned and to give confidence to residents, those who travel to the city for work and visitors, that the city centre is a vibrant place for social, cultural and economic activity.

It makes a powerful contribution to the work of the Norwich 2040 Vision partnership and demonstrates the vital role of good public spaces to the 2040 Vision themes of ‘Creativity, Liveability, Fairness, Connectivity and Dynamism’.

It also supports the New Anglia LEP’s Local Industrial Strategy, which stresses the importance of ‘Place’ and the Norwich Business Improvement District’s (BID) retail strategy.

Public spaces provide people with the opportunities to come together and engage as a community. The Agora of classical Greece and the central location of the Forum in Roman towns and cities signify their importance in history, through to the present day.

In our own time, the success of public spaces should be measured against whether they are inclusive of the diversity of groups present in our cities and create a social space for everyone in the society to participate. In short, the quality of our public spaces is a measure of the health of our local democracy. 

Head shot of Councillor Mike Stonard

Councillor Michael Stonard
Portfolio holder for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth
head shot of Councillor Alan Waters, leader of the council
Councillor Alan Waters
Leader of Norwich City Council.

If you would like this information in another language or format such as large print, CD or Braille please visit www.norwich.gov.uk/Intran or call 0344 980 3333.

Produced by Norwich City Council – July 2020