Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.
Van Gogh Walk is one of many recent examples of shared spaces in Europe. The transportation engineering strategy that is gaining popularity in many cities today prioritizes pedestrians and is designed to encourage careful and considerate driving in affected areas. The traffic calming effect that Van Gogh Walk has brought to surrounding streets in Stockwell has encouraged more and more locals to walk outdoors in the safe and common space. Area residents have also been actively involved in the street’s maintenance efforts. Under the guidance of Streetscape, a locally-based social enterprise, volunteers maintain the horticulture and cleanliness of the street together, building a strong sense of ownership over the space. Because of these efforts, the street has seen substantially lower rates of crime activity since its transformation and locals attribute this positive change to the heightened sense of investment and social responsibility in the neighborhood.
Named after former resident and famous Dutch Impressionist, Vincent Van Gogh, the shared space of Van Gogh Walk officially opened in March 2013, and it has since received numerous planning and Placemaking awards for its positive local impact and good design. Before its transformation, the street, once known as Isabel Street, was a neglected and disused backstreet deemed by locals as a dangerous “no-go area.” But its recent rebirth, which was led by local residents and supported by Lambeth Council, included the addition of gardens with seating on raised planters, a mini library, a basketball hoop, and plenty of space for informal ball games. Many of these features were in fact inspired by Van Gogh’s paintings and writings. Since its opening, Van Gogh Walk has encouraged physical and social activity, and most importantly, it provides residents of this high-density neighborhood with a much-needed green, communal open space.
*Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.