Oxford City Council calls for public’s views on pedestrian-friendly temporary public square

Published: Friday, 30th July 2021

Oxford City Council is urging members of the public to share their views about the city’s new temporary public square.

It has now been a month since part of Broad Street was transformed into Broad Meadow by Oxford City Council after being granted planning permission to close part of it to traffic by the County Council.

The new outdoor space officially opened on 1 July. It contains wildflower meadows and lawns, a seating area for Oxford residents and visitors to meet with family and friends and, on a number of days throughout summer, enjoy specially staged events held by theatre groups, performers and community organisations.

The City Council is encouraging Oxford residents, people who work here, students, and visitors to have their say on the scheme. A consultation questionnaire is available on the Council’s dedicated Citizen Space consultation portal until the end of October.

In addition to the online questionnaire, City Centre Ambassadors will continue to regularly visit Broad Meadow to ask people for their views in person and to record their feedback for the consultation. Paper copies can also be picked up from a dispenser in the doorway of 15-16 Broad Street.

The information gathered over the next few months will provide the opportunity for the public to share their ideas and thoughts about the space. It will also allow them to contribute to the proposal to pedestrianise the whole of Broad Street permanently.

The design of Broad Meadow, now one of Oxford city centre’s largest outdoor public seating spaces, was developed by public realm experts LDA Design and subsequently installed by Oxford Direct Services.

During the design process, the Council gathered views from more than 60 organisations through informal conversations, workshops, drop-ins, and a consultation portal. This included the University of Oxford and its Broad Street Colleges, local businesses, transport operators, cycling and walking groups, event organisers and an Inclusive Transport and Movement focus group for people with disabilities.

The Council also prioritised the use of local suppliers- experienced muralist Bryony Benge-Abbot was commissioned to create the large flower-inspired artwork at the centre of the space.

By opening the consultation to the public, Oxford City Council is seeking to promote the safe use of the city centre over the summer, to support Oxford’s economic recovery and to inform the development of long-term options for creating better civic spaces on Broad Street and in other parts of the city in the future.

 

“Oxford’s iconic Broad Street has become Broad Meadow, helping to bring people together safely this summer. Since Broad Meadow opened at the beginning of July we have seen residents and visitors spending time in this new outdoor space. Now we would like to get their feedback.

"We would like to hear what you think of the space, whether you have visited or not and what you would like to see there going forward. Whatever your opinion, we need to find out whether Broad Meadow has worked for you and what we can do to improve the street in the future. The consultation survey is online and anyone can fill it in, which takes just a few minutes.”

Councillor Tom Hayes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon at Oxford City Council.