London has become dominated by traffic and suffers not only from congestion and pollution but from the adverse visual effects that traffic infrastructure brings to the quality of its public spaces. Mayfair and Belgravia, two of the finest locations in London, have not been immune to this intrusion.
Key issues identified by the Gehl study "Places for People" included:
* The outstanding architectural quality of the buildings is seldom complemented by high quality public realm.
* Poor visual environment - the quality of the street elements such as signage and furniture is poor, and the streets are often too cluttered.
* Visually and spatially the streets and squares are dominated by traffic and parked vehicles, and not celebrated as quality public spaces.
* The domination by traffic has created strong barriers to pedestrian movement.
* Carriageways, especially in Belgravia, can be very wide. This encourages increased traffic speeds, affecting pedestrian movement and comfort.
* Pedestrians and cyclists have not been accorded sufficient priority.
* Public spaces are not fully utilised and most recreation takes place in the adjacent Royal Parks.