Global Street Design Guide

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Table of Contents

Global Street Design Guide

Case Study: Van Gogh Walk; London, UK

Location: Stockwell, Borough of Lambeth, London
Population: 8 million
Metro: 13.8 million
Length: Approx. 100 m–2 blocks
Right-of-Way: 12 m
Context: Residential
Cost: 700,000 GBP (110,000 USD)
Funding: Lambeth Council
Speed: N/A – No posted speed


Van Gogh Walk, previously Isabel Street, is the centerpiece of a resident-led project in Stockwell, a district in south London. This project has transformed a traditional street into a new shared street and community space.

Funding for the street transformation was allocated by the borough council and obtained by a local nonprofit called Streets Ahead. It captured the future value of planning gains for the improvement of neighborhood streets.

Isabel Street was a 12 m wide residential street, lightly trafficked, and often used as a play area by neighborhood children.

Most surrounding properties are residential units without gardens, and the nearest park is some distance away, creating a demand for public space.

The bottom-up process put in place by the local nonprofit guaranteed community involvement and support during the creation of this residential shared street.


  • Provide a space for children to play and residents to meet.
  • Compensate for the lack of public open space in the area.
  • Enhance pedestrian safety and activity.
  • Foster neighborhood interaction and outdoor activity such as gardening.
  • Encourage non-motorized transportation.

Keys to Success

The bottom-up process put in place by the local nonprofit guaranteed community involvement and support.

The project occupied an underutilized roadway, where most of the street space was previously allocated to cars.

The area was lacking quality open space and areas for children to play.

The project formalized pre-existing informal public uses.


Public Agencies
Lambeth Council

Citizen Associations and Unions
Streets Ahead

Designers and Engineers
Shape (Landscape Architect), FM Conway (Contractor)

Key Elements

Removal of any demarcation between pedestrian and vehicles.

Pedestrians can use the entire right-of-way.

Extended areas for open-air activities, including play and gardening areas.

Project Timeline


Adapted by Global Street Design Guide published by Island Press.