Looking after the quarter
In October 2023, we launched our Placemaking Strategy for Baker Street and the Marylebone area, produced in partnership with The Portman Estate, setting out a vision for the future of the area – reimagining it as an exceptional place to live, work, study and visit, and developing a community-driven approach towards an active, greener, safer and more inclusive neighbourhood.
Our approach to developing this placemaking strategy was multi-faceted, centred around physical public realm improvements, but also taking into account greening & biodiversity, navigation, safety & security, culture & identity, accessibility & inclusion, and respite & wellbeing.
The process took into consideration the views of all of those that use the area – residents, those that work locally, business owners and stakeholders – through a range of consultation activities, in addition to evidence collated through mapping, previous studies and socio-demographic profile data. The study identifies practical strategies that will help nurture the area and respond to the needs of as many people as possible, including area-wide initiatives that encompass improvements to the physical environment alongside activities that increase activity, accessibility, and inclusivity.
If you have any queries relating to the Placemaking Strategy or our activities, get in touch here.
Marylebone And Baker Street Stations Green Link
In July 2023, we were delighted to receive Greening Westminster Funding for our project to enhance the greening around and along the walking route between Marylebone and Baker Street stations, via Dorset Square and Melcombe Street. The project aims to create a more pleasant environment, increasing biodiversity, improving air quality and adding much needed, and carefully designed seating – importantly accompanied by a full management, maintenance and monitoring plan. The funding enables us to help realise our ambitions for the benefit of everyone who uses this important route, identified as a priority as part of our Placemaking Strategy research.
Marylebone Station: Harewood Avenue Exit
In March 2024, we complete our installation at Marylebone Station. We are taking over the Harewood Avenue exit space to add a large-scale map display and posters celebrating the history of the station, its links up the Chiltern lines and its role in the local community. We received funding from Chiltern Railways’ Community Investment Fund for this project and have also worked closely with the Chiltern team to spruce up the space.
Baker Street Station Activation
Plans to make initial improvements and trial an activation in the space outside Baker Street station are coming to fruition, working closely with TfL. Deep cleaning has taken place and trial greening and activation in the form of a weekly food market will begin in Spring 2024, improving the first impression to visitors and commuters to the area. We are hopeful these trials will encourage more extensive and longer-term enhancement of the space in future. The project benefitted from ward Council grant funding towards the greening elements.
George's Pocket Park
George’s Pocket Park, our quiet courtyard public space, tucked away near the junction with George Street and Baker Street, provides much needed space for local workers to head to during their breaks. Working with Derwent London and The Portman Estate, we transformed the unused, unloved space into a veritable oasis with design and planting geared towards improving air quality and biodiversity. In 2021, we spruced the space up with extra seating and new greenery featuring air-purifying varieties of plants, and in 2022, we enhanced it further with a vibrant floral mural on an adjacent wall. This was a partnership project with The Portman Estate with additional funding from a successful application to Westminster City Council’s Open Spaces, Greener Places programme. The space has since been utilised for wellbeing workshops and plays host to a weekly street food pop-up.
We were delighted to open the transformed Wonderpass in 2016. Previously a much neglected, dank and dingy Marylebone Road Subway, the vibrant and welcoming walkway is a safe alternative to those wishing to cross Marylebone Road. The Wonderpass is also a cultural crossing that’s a wonderful celebration of our area’s history and attractions. More than just a lick of paint, the project involved a major structural upgrade, improving and renewing drainage, electrics and lighting, stairwells, floors and handrails. It represents a true collaboration of ourselves, TfL and Westminster City Council ward councillors, with production from Sing London, and the design features work from the Wallace Collection, Madame Tussauds and Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.
Baker Street Two Way Project
September 2019 saw the completion of this major public realm project, led by Westminster City Council and TfL with support from Baker Street Quarter and The Portman Estate, to change Baker Street and Gloucester Place from one-way to two-way. The scheme’s objectives were to improve air quality, reduce vehicle speeds, provide greater opportunity to walk and cycle, and make the shared public space a more enjoyable place to be.
Wider pavements, additional and better crossings, more trees and new surfacing have all contributed to a much-improved environment for those residents and workers that use the area regularly as well as for visitors and those travelling through. A detailed monitoring strategy, comparing data pre-works in July 2017 and after completion in October 2019, alongside repeated monitoring at several key junctions and locations, observed an increase in both pedestrian activity and cycle use as well as a decrease in vehicle speeds by approximately 25-30%. Further information on the Baker Street Two Way and the detailed monitoring report can be found here.