Cowley road matters: community transport and road design

Publication year: 

Cowley Road Matters (CRM) is an innovative UK public consultation project in Oxford. It came about as a result of Oxfordshire County Council receiving funding for the improvement of Cowley Road, which runs through the heart of East Oxford. A busy arterial route, the road runs through a densely populated residential area and has a mix of local shops, pubs and restaurants. This paper describes how East Oxford Action carried out the consultation, involving and engaging the users of the area in redesigning it to suit their needs. The project involved a number of stages, giving people the opportunity to learn about the process, contribute their own knowledge, explore options and be involved in the design. The paper details the initial consultation process which took three months, and involved talking to businesses and groups, carrying out questionnaires, workshops and street interviews, and setting up a website. A shop was converted to a drop in centre and maps and models of the road were used in workshops and at the shop. Interactive design days followed and the final basic plan was exhibited at the annual carnival attended by 20,000 people. The paper goes on to describe what was successful about CRM, look at transparency in decision-making, discuss the role of the shop and the use of participatory video. Finally it looks at lessons learnt and what could be done differently.

Source publication information
Journal Title: 
Participatory learning and action
No. 52
IIED, 3 Endsleigh Street, London WC1H ODD, UK
Publisher reference: 
International Institute for Environment and Development

How to find this resource

Shelfmark in IDS Resource Centre
E : Miscellaneous : RRA Notes/PLA 4907