Streetscape Guidance

This report by Transport for London provides guidance on high quality standards of urban design and planning for London’s streets by showcasing best practice principles. The report argues that through improved design, cities and streets can be transformed into better places where the public realm and transport network is fit for a globally competitive economy.

Date added 17 August 2021
Last updated 17 August 2021

This report by Transport for London has a threefold focus. Firstly, it aims to encourage urban planners and designers, builders, and operators to undertake a robust design approach in order to balance the movement of people and goods whilst maintaining a high-quality city environment. Secondly, it aims to illustrate the ambition, innovation and creativity levels required to ensure high quality service on London’s streets. Thirdly, it showcases best practice design principles to implementing high quality street design in London. Whilst the guidance is based on Transport for London Road Network, the principles could be also be applied elsewhere.

The guidance also encourages new partnerships and collaborations to boost creativity and innovation that can impact on improving London’s streets. It also argues that a collaborative approach can provide new opportunities and promote regulatory change where necessary to enhance people’s experience of urban environments. The guidance states that in order to achieve this, it is important that a range of stakeholders have an open and honest discussion about new ideas and solutions to potential challenges in order to reach a shared understanding of these elements. Stakeholders can include design professionals, academics, highway authorities, road user groups, local communities, and private developers. This can also breed new ideas, products, materials, or layouts.

The report provides a detailed guide for stakeholders wishing to develop proposals for improvement work to streets. The guide advises on whether proposals are offering solutions to a problem, if it is technically feasible, if it improves the physical aspects of the streetscape, if it is safe, durable, and cost effective to maintain or replace, if it resists damage, and if it has demonstrated use in any other location. Furthermore, the guide outlines six key roles which streets and roads need to fulfil: moving, living, unlocking, functioning, protecting, and sustaining. Symbols for each role are provided within the document within the case studies illustrated to show how each case achieves the interventions and balance priorities. Following this, the report includes sections on standards for a range of physical design and materials including:

  • Footways
  • Carriageways
  • Crossings
  • Kerbside activity
  • Footway amenities
  • Safety and functionality
  • Street environment
  • Transport interchanges