Oxford City Council transformed the western part of Broad Street into 'Broad Meadow' between July and October 2021.
The outdoor space - which contained wildflower meadows, lawns and seating - aimed to promote the safe use of the city centre to support Oxford's economic recovery during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The project also aimed to inform the development of longer-term options for creating better civic spaces in Broad Street and other parts of the city.
Broad Meadow became one of the city centre’s largest outdoor public spaces. More than 100,000 people used the space between July and October 2021.
In November 2021, Broad Meadow won a plaque at the Oxford Preservation Trust Awards, with the project being commended for “bringing liveliness and hope for the future of Broad Street for our summer enjoyment”.
Broad Meadow, which was installed by ODS, was made possible through partnership working by a range of stakeholders, including bus operators, Broad Street colleges and businesses, emergency services, and Oxfordshire County Council.
Building on the success of Broad Meadow, in 2022 Oxfordshire County Council decided to create a larger and more long-lasting temporary public realm scheme in Broad Street. It opened in autumn 2022 and has permission to stay in place for up to 18 months, by which point the County Council must decide whether to remove the scheme or make it permanent.
Broad Meadow was created using local suppliers and recycled materials.
When the scheme ended, the City Council donated elements of Broad Meadow - including planters, seating, plants and turf - to six local organisations: Blackbird Leys Adventure Playground, Cowley Children’s Allotment, Marston Community Gardening, Oxford Urban Wildlife Group, St Ebbe’s Primary School and St Mary Magdalen Church.
The organisations were chosen because they demonstrated a commitment to delivering ongoing public benefit from Broad Meadow.
Broad Meadow was conceived during the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2021. The City Council then carried out discussions with technical experts and stakeholders, including local businesses, cycling groups and disabled people to help design the scheme. Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority, granted permission to close part of Broad Street to traffic in June 2021. Broad Meadow was open between July and October 2021.
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The design of Broad Meadow was informed by discussions with technical experts and stakeholders, including local businesses, cycling groups, and disabled people through the City Council’s Inclusive Transport and Movement Forum.
Throughout the project, the City Council held a public consultation to ask people what they thought of Broad Meadow, and how they would like to see Broad Street transformed in the future. More than 1,000 people took part in the consultation. 87% of respondents said Broad Meadow had a positive impact on the city, and 80% backed permanent pedestrianisation of the whole of Broad Street.