A large financial boost is needed to save the performing arts

By Helen McMurray The impact of the coronavirus epidemic on businesses and jobs is becoming all too obvious now. Since we live so close to Theatreland, you may have already heard from people connected with the Performing Arts of the particular difficulties they are going through, and I understand that former employees across all the …

Exploring our own areas and supporting local businesses could make us a lot happier and healthier

The campaign encourages people to rediscover their local high streets and town centres. An email from The Fitzrovia Partnership’s chief operating officer this week invites the business group's members to read about a campaign to get the London economy up and running again. The Because I’m A Londoner is a city-wide initiative which claims to …

When this is all over we will have learned the real meaning of community

By Pat Tulloch It is the week before lockdown, I self-isolate as I have an underlying health condition that makes me vulnerable to Covid-19. At the Fitzrovia Centre we are in the business of creating social cohesion through bringing people together, it becomes clear we will be unable to maintain safety and forced to close. …

Architects are not the only ones obsessing about learning spaces and working spaces

A friend of mine passed me a copy of Architects Journal this week which has some interesting observations on life, and valuable insights into how schools and offices will operate when they re-open. The Architects Journal: Adaptation + Workplace, 21 May 2020. "Things architects obsess about are everyone's obsession now: public space, green space, learning …

The New West End Company wants more car parking and no road charges

New West End Company values parking.

Plans released by the largest commercial group in the West End to steer a path to recovery when the lockdown is eased show it to be completely out of touch with the stark reality facing London. In a week when Westminster council were approving more ambitious plans to tackle air pollution and encouraging a modal-shift …

Help us improve the streets for walking and cycling in Fitzrovia West

Map of Fitzrovia West.

By Barbara Corr A group of residents in City of Westminster want the council to make our streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists and help maintain social distancing ahead of any lockdown being eased. Fitz West and Westminster Healthy Streets want to hear suggestions for improving the streets and have produced a map to which …

We need Camden to make good on its promise for safer streets in Fitzrovia

Fitzrovia safer streets map.

Camden Council is asking people living in the borough to put forward their ideas for making our streets better for safe travel by walking, cycling and social distancing. In some parts of the borough they have already made improvements. Now it's our turn. "We want to make it easier and safer for people to walk …

Should you wear a cloth face mask to protect others?

Man wearing a keffiyeh.

It is no substitute for social distancing and washing your hands to stop the spread of Covid-19, but wearing a washable, cloth face mask when you go shopping or have to use public transport could help stop you spreading the virus if you don't know you have it. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has now …

Mouth-wateringly good, baked comfort food to take away on Warren Street

Shopfront.

By Stephen Heath For those struggling for a glimmer of cheer in these grim times, I do recommend a brisk walk (or two) up to Shaheen Peerbhai's Miel Bakery on Warren Street. Unlike its now boarded up neighbour, our other favourite foodie haunt, the iconic Honey & Spice, it is still open and offering a limited …

Plans for roof-high office chill-zone give local residents the creeps

Street scene.

Designers behind a massive sun-seeking terrace in Fitzrovia have stunned locals by omitting its crucial south-facing vista from photos sent to planners. Applicants renovating 60 Charlotte Street withdrew plans late last year for their third story piazza after residents with privacy concerns wrote to Camden Council. Now the same Luxembourg-based firm has resubmitted plans for …

Architects and engineers can play their part against climate change and habitat loss

Placards in a window.

Friday's climate strike saw thousands of adults join the movement started by young people  taking action against climate change and species extinction. These included many architects and engineers in Fitzrovia. "More than 100 assembled outside London’s Building Centre before going on to a rally in Westminster, while outside the capital, architects took part in protests …

Camden Council continue to ignore our pleas to only carry out hedge cutting in the autumn and winter to protect wildlife

Workers cutting hedges.

We've asked time and time again for Camden Council to only carry out hedge cutting with machinery during the autumn and winter months to protect wildlife. Yet despite our efforts we continue to be ignored by a council that seems to be hell bent on carrying out work just to spite us. They did it …

Taxis, media lies, and Tottenham Court Road

Taxi blockade.

For the sixth weekday evening in a row London Taxi drivers have blocked Tottenham Court Road between 4pm and 7pm, and brought the surrounding streets to a standstill. Many people have struggled to get home by public transport and many more are wondering what's going on. There have also been a number of incorrect statements …

Cars, taxis and lorries are not being banned from Tottenham Court Road

Map of part of Tottenham Court Road.

Last week's news in the Evening Standard about cars, taxis and lorries being banned from Tottenham Court Road in three months' time (sic) brought jeers from drivers and cheers from active transport campaigners. But the Standard's story was so full of errors that it failed to describe what is actually happening. Cabbies may be pleasantly surprised …

Beige Holes of Fitzrovia: new squares are generic nowhere places derived from transactions and contracts

Entrance walkway.

Two new privately owned public spaces (POPS) in Fitzrovia are products of development and real estate speculation in a wildly distorted market. The first project, completed in 2016, is GROSS.MAX.’s design for Fitzroy Place, and the second is Gustafson Porter + Bowman’s Rathbone Square, completed in September 2017. Both developments are responding directly to market …

If we don’t care for our own backyard then nobody else is likely to

TfL map of Oxford Street west district.

By Griff Rhys Jones There are big plans for Oxford Street in the offing. You may already know of them and they are certainly going to affect the residents who live around that retail artery. There was a consultation with Transport for London, but it appears that they put up the “wrong address” on their …

Cycling is part of the solution to London’s transport challenge

Strava heat map.

Mayor Sadiq Khan wants to ban cycling along Oxford Street, yet it is an important route for cyclists connecting east and west London. So why is the London Cycling Campaign asking people to support the Mayor's plans? Transport for London are asking people's views on yet another consultation for the so-called "transformation of Oxford Street". …

Great Portland Estates appears to have run out of ideas for street names

Street sign.

As the massive commercial and residential development on the former Royal Mail delivery centre in Fitzrovia nears completion, developer Great Portland Estates appears to have run out of ideas for street names. The Rathbone Square development will have office space for Facebook, 142 private residential apartments, cafes, shops and restaurants surrounding a central square within …