This prominent public space in Llandudno was reconfigured to prioritise pedestrian movement as part of a multimillion pound Heritage Lottery Urban Parks funded renewal programme in this Victorian seaside resort. Several years before pedestrian prioritisation became a hot topic, Shape led the design of a walking-centred public realm, replacing one-way gyratory traffic with two-way roads, anchoring retail frontage to public space, removing guardrails and creating crossings on desire lines, to make it far easier for visitors to walk between the central car park, main shopping street, beach, promenade and the park, and to reach bus stops and the town’s main public toilet. Delivery and emergency access, transit stops and a future tram line were all accommodated in the revised highways arrangement.

The park used to be known locally as ‘Bog Island’ because its underground toilets were marooned in a sea of cars. While traffic is still present on two sides of the triangular space, one side is now anchored to the shops, and has become a popular public plaza at the main entrance to Llandudno’s Conservation Area. Thick planting borders of perennials surround the green lawn, wide pavements and dozens of long comfortable benches can now be enjoyed without interference from traffic.

The landscape team prepared bids for the HLF grant, and advised structuring Conwy’s bid so that existing street and flood defence spending topped up agreed capital allocation for two listed parks, leveraging in match funding for the renewal of the town’s public realm as a whole.

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