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Urban design, public realm and public art

Read how we are working with partners to promote high quality innovative design in new buildings and the public realm.

Published: 5 January 2021

Last updated: 21 April 2021

Conserving and enhancing buildings and public spaces improves the quality of life for everybody. We are committed to working with partners to promote high quality innovative design, in new buildings and public realm, including public art.

See recent projects which demonstrate Westminster's commitment and approach to good contemporary design:

Contemporary Westminster PDF, 3.06 MB, 36 pages

The National Design Guide (2019) provides further useful advice.

Public realm guidance

To ensure that the public spaces between buildings are also of exemplary quality, we have adopted a Supplementary Planning Documents (SPD) on Public Realm

The Westminster Way takes on board the methodology for assessing pedestrian footway capacity in the Mayor of London's guidance called 'Pedestrian Comfort Guidance for London':


We have also recently adopted a Lighting Master Plan (2020) and new guidance on Lighting Design (2020):


There is further advice set out in Transport for London's Streetscape Guidance and Historic England Streets for All Guidance.

Public Art

Our huge collection of contemporary and historic art in the public realm contributes to the unique and distinctive streetscape of Westminster and brings economic and educational benefits to the community.

Many of Westminster's historic statues and monuments are listed. We have produced a supplementary planning document (SPD) to provide guidance on proposals for new statues and memorials: