Newham High Streets

2019-2021 | Strategic Delivery Plans for high streets
London Borough of Newham Council, London, UK | website

In 2019, I joined Newham council as a Senior Regeneration Manager, through a year-long Public Practice placement. Public Practice is a not-for-profit social enterprise with a mission to improve the quality and equality of everyday places by building the public sector’s planning capacity and introducing built environment experts in public authorities. My role in Newham council was to develop strategies for the borough's town centres. This is how the Newham High Streets programme came to be. 

The Newham High Streets programme aims to create a clear delivery plan for Pillar 5 of the Towards a Better Newham Covid-19 Recovery strategy, which mandates that the council will work towards High Streets that support healthier and happier communities, embedding the principles of 15-minutes neighbourhoodsNewham’s high streets have been impacted significantly by Covid-19 and the programme helps support their recovery. Given the recent challenges, it is important that the council and communities need to work together to collectively manage and nurture our high streets as a shared resource to build a fairer, greener, and better local economy. Moreover, it was deemed important to establish an evidence base for the council to understand the impact that any design interventions have.

 

Hence, the programme was built to have an adaptive strategy, working in phases to create strategic delivery plans for each of the borough's high streets based on evidence, co-design, and project pilots. In collaboration with We Made That, we put together an evaluation framework for high streets, and they created detailed appraisals for each one of the high streets of phase one. Due to safety restrictions for covid-19, engagement was adjusted to happen through digital means. I co-developed the Newham Co-create platform, hosted by Citizenlab, on which the programme's engagement was eventually hosted. Based on the evidence from the appraisals, and by working with people through the engagement, the programme aims to put together strategic but aspirational plans for Newham's high streets.