Shared space on Gordon Square officially opens

The newly improved public realm on the northside of Gordon Square, directly outside the UCL Institute of Archaeology, was officially opened to the public after a launch event yesterday.

The new street scene introduces a small slice of tranquillity to the heart of Bloomsbury, providing a shared space for the public with new cycle lanes and the installation of plants and fixed street furniture. The scheme links into the Camden Council Green Corridor which will provide walking and cycling routes from Euston Road to the River Thames.

UCL students and staff have been using the seating areas to chat and eat lunch for some time now but yesterday marked the scheme’s official opening. The large planting beds have been populated with a number of different types of flora that, along with the mint-coloured seating, have transformed the area into a vibrant pedestrian space.

The project was first announced in 2022 and was led by Camden Council, with UCL acting as a funding partner. The new street scene is a key piece of UCL’s mission to improve the local area for our students, residents and visitors in preparation for the Bicentennial celebrations at UCL (2026).

The eventual goal is to have the entirety of Gordon Street pedestrianised, creating a permanent green route through the centre of one of London’s busiest areas.

As well as working alongside Camden Council, UCL collaborated on the project with LDA Design - Camden’s Highways Architect - which has led several other successful projects around London.

Other partners on the scheme included ground maintenance provider Tivoli which handled the planting, sustainable urban furniture provider Vestre, the Highways and Infrastructure team at Norman Rourke Pryme, and workspace solution firm JPA Workspaces.

Yesterday’s opening event involved a ribbon-cutting ceremony led by Aimie Chapple, UCL Vice-President (Operations), who said: "It’s a real privilege to be here today opening this community space and the shared vision for both UCL and Camden to provide a wonderful space to eat, study, talk and play. Being an urban university, these outdoor spaces are even more precious, providing a place to reflect and be in a setting closer to nature."

Going forward, the space will be managed and maintained by UCL Estates. Staff and students can report any maintenance requests for the space through UCL’s MyCampus platform.

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