Exhibition Road, London’s cultural heartland, is being opened officially today by the city’s Mayor following a two-year transformation.
The new-look road – one of mayor Boris Johnson’s top 10 redevelopment projects for London ahead of the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics – has attracted international attention because of the ‘shared space’ concept that has informed the design.
It also provides a fitting setting for the millions of visitors to the area’s arts, science and learning institutions that together make Exhibition Road the UK’s most popular tourism destination.
‘Like the many other improvements we are making to London’s great outdoors it is projects like these that are not just creating fantastic new places to enjoy but which are supporting and delivering many jobs across the capital,’ said Johnson.
‘This clever approach to rearranging the streetscape at the heart of one of the most important cultural and academic corners on the planet will heighten the whole experience for visitors. In particular it will make it much easier and even more pleasurable for families visiting these unique attractions with space to wander unhindered in an area that puts people first.’
Councillor Sir Merrick Cockell, Leader of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, added that ‘it has taken us the best part of 10 years…but South Kensington and Exhibition Road finally have the setting they deserve’.
‘For 2012 and far beyond, London now has a unique streetscape that will delight our many millions of visitors and which sets a new standard for urban design,’ he concluded.