Westway Community Street

A community-led strategy for enhancing public spaces below the Westway elevated carriageway in North Kensington.

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The Westway is a raised carriageway built in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in 1962-70 as part of the London Ringways project to build a comprehensive series of trunk roads across London. It runs across the borough’s most economically and socially deprived northern wards.

The Westway’s immediate context is highly ethnically and socially diverse, with a strong and complex social, cultural and political history. Portobello Road Market, which runs below the Westway and expands into spaces below and around it, has existed since the 19th century but has been a renowned antiques market and tourist destination since the 1940s and 50s. The globally significant Notting Hill Carnival, an annual two-day Caribbean carnival led by the British West Indian community, has taken place across the wider area, centred upon the Westway and Portobello Road, since 1966.  

Life and activity below the Westway reflects this complex context. The road’s construction represented a major temporal and spatial ‘scar’ in the urban fabric of this part of the city and in the wake of significant protest and activism the spaces below the Westway were handed over for community use. Since then its spaces have become home to a rich and varied array of social, cultural and economic activity. The Westway and the spaces below and around it remain complex, challenging, contested and vital. The Community Street project aims to support the cultural and social life of these spaces in a way that brings coherence and environmental improvement.

The Community Street project encompasses the whole Westway estate. DK-CM’s strategy, informed by an extensive co-design and engagement process led by Lugadero in collaboration with local people, sets out a strategic approach to this suite of projects and interventions, centred upon four key design principles and main sites along the length of the carriageway: the Roundabout, Maxilla, Maxilla Gardens and Portobello. Interventions range from sports and social provision to urban greening, building refurbishments, new lighting, signage and wayfinding.




  • Client: The Westway Trust, with funding support from the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund
  • Collaborators: Lugadero
  • Dates: 2021-
  • Status: Strategy published, projects on site

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