In its £4.5 million redesign of the street, Kensington adopted the principle of “shared space”. Pioneered in the Netherlands, it rejects the concept that pedestrians and traffic must be strictly segregated. The idea is that cars, cyclists and those on foot will coexist more safely when the boundaries between them are blurred.
The principle extends far beyond just reducing the ugly clutter of railings, signposts and markings; it fundamentally alters the way we view shared space (nb not public vs private) through individual responsibility to exercise their own risk perception. Not only can we make the roads more aesthetically pleasing, but in doing so we can make them safer.