HTA’s Landscape team was awarded the commission to update Medway’s 2008 Corporation Street SPG. Delivery of HTA’s Rochester Riverside masterplan and recently-relocated Rochester Railway Station prompted development pressure, requiring a considered response to new opportunities and guidance to transform the inhospitable dual carriageway, which severs the historic city from Medway’s primary regeneration site and riverfront.
The design guidance scope proposed a boulevard treatment through a coherent landscape/public realm and re-designed coach park. Our team challenged the brief to develop an innovative concept with a strong contextual response through considered area analysis and a strong and meaningful engagement process.
Our landscape-led approach identified five key east-west cross links to stitch the city to its riverfront whilst promoting the concept of an urban avenue. Our 10-15 year vision identified private sector-led projects and public sector-led ones, which were costed to enable incremental delivery as pots of funding emerged.
Through extensive engagement with stakeholders and community, we developed an aspirational yet pragmatic vision to celebrate the historic, humanize the street, encourage active transport and promote health/well-being.
Our Landscape team led the project with added transport and costing advice, which we procured. We defined an inclusive, engaging process through a range of individual meetings, walkabouts, workshops and presentations to officers, members, stakeholders and community to develop local buy-in at conceptual and technical levels.
We grew the potential of transforming the street into providing physical, economic and sustainable benefits to the wider place and towns. We developed confidence at officer and member levels through precedents and challenging existing thinking to act bold and take calculated risks on car parking, public space, landscape, historic context and long-term investment.
With limited Council resources, our guidance provides our client a long-term, flexible framework for regeneration through our proposed five key (east-west) spatial moves. Defined projects and costings provide security of future investment, guiding future decision-making by Council departments and effectively delivering wider aspirations to health, sustainability, transport, biodiversity and economic development.
It enables the Council to effectively negotiate in delivering the urban boulevard through Planning by the private sector, including public realm, landscape and cycle infrastructure.
Professionally, this process identifies how the Landscape profession can lead multi-disciplinary teams to strategically plan successful placemaking, leveraging public- and private-sector investment to realise visionary, beautiful places.
We demonstrate how to propose and deliver proactive change through a market-driven, deliverable approach. Our design thinking also illustrates how to transform inhumane dual carriageways into great streets; an approach that should be promoted across the UK.
Our engagement strategy with Officers, Members, key stakeholders and community demonstrates how to create a truly shared vision whilst delivering civic landscapes integrated into the place and growing the local economy. It identifies continued future opportunities for engagement through active involvement, co-design and consultation.
Beyond street improvements we built consensus to solve problems through innovation, including:
- Historic celebration: Historic England and stakeholders endorsed bold outline proposals to remove Victorian walls with replacement Cor-ten steel contemporary walls emulating the medieval city walls.
- Facilitating links: Working with live Planning applicants to consider alternative layouts to deliver key routes, such as the Cathedral-to-River link.
- Parking: Agreeing with Officers and Councils the need to consolidate car parking to deliver central public spaces, including at Blue Boar car park and at the station forecourt.
- Practical delivery: Our incremental, costed public realm delivery approach enables planned investment whilst private sector delivery is guided by our landscape/public realm guidance.
The project brings new thinking to Planning underpinned by a strong landscape ethos, defining new roles for landscape professionals to lead transformation, influence decision makers and deliver more sustainable places.
Recommendations within the report are already being implemented by the Council. Based on this success, HTA are leading studies for adjacent areas within Medway.
A Vision for Corporation Street
HTA Design LLP
Medway Council | Regeneration Culture Environment & Transformation
HTA’s Landscape team was awarded the commission to update Medway’s 2008 Corporation Street SPG. Delivery of HTA’s Rochester Riverside masterplan and recently-relocated Rochester Railway Station prompted development pressure, requiring a considered response to new opportunities and preparation of design guidance to transform the inhospitable dual carriageway, which severs the historic city from Medway’s primary regeneration site and riverfront. The design guidance scope proposed a boulevard treatment through a coherent landscape/public realm and re-designed coach park. Our team challenged the brief to develop an innovative concept with a strong contextual response through considered area analysis and a strong and meaningful engagement process.
Finalist, Landscape Institute Awards 2019
Medway Council HTA Design LLP Ian Sayer and Co Urban Movements
Local planning authority or government body
£15,000 consultancy fee