Waterloo and South Bank Public Realm Framework

Lambeth council’s strategic design guidance helping to prioritise investment and improvement in the public realm for Waterloo and South Bank.

South Bank Public Realm poster
Project status: Completed Neighbourhood: Vauxhall and Waterloo

Waterloo and South Bank is experiencing significant development and economic growth. This growth brings both benefits and challenges for the area, including increased pressure on infrastructure and the public realm.

Lambeth Council commissioned the urban design and public realm practice Publica to develop the Waterloo and South Bank Public Realm Framework to provide guidance for this dynamic context.

Engagement with the community and key stakeholders was undertaken to ensure a joined-up approach.

The Framework will be a helpful tool for Lambeth Council, developers, stakeholders and the community and is referenced in the Draft Revised Lambeth Local Plan as strategic non-statutory guidance.

To find out more information please take a look at the Waterloo and South Bank Public Realm Framework and the Appendix.


The Waterloo and South Bank Public Realm Framework provides strategic design guidance to both the public and private sectors to enable the prioritisation of investment and improvement in the public realm in Bishop’s Ward, Lambeth.

The Framework aims to:

  • Support investment decisions and the allocation of resources
  • Help to secure partnership support and funding from a variety of public and private sources
  • Act as a catalyst for the improvement and investment necessary to support growth, resilience, independence and place
  • Support the refresh and review of priorities over time as the area changes.


The Public Realm Framework has been developed around six (place-making) guiding principles for improving the public spaces of Waterloo and South Bank. Each guiding principle incorporates a range of tactics to support its application and is accompanied by a precedent built project, showing how the principle has been successfully applied elsewhere.

Eighteen site-specific spatial briefs have been prepared, drawing from the guiding principles and a public realm audit. Each brief includes site-specific criteria to inform the development of future public realm proposals. The spatial briefs are summarised in a Matrix table.

Within the eighteen spatial briefs, six priority projects have been identified based on the need for improvement and investment, alignment with the six guiding principles, local and/or strategic stakeholder aspirations and priorities, and their impact on the Waterloo and South Bank area.


As a result of this Framework, four of the six priority projects have already progressed to the next design stage. These include:

The two remaining priority projects – Victory Arch Square and Mepham Street, and Emma Cons Gardens are also being progressed by relevant stakeholders with funding allocations in traction.

Engagement and consultation

The Public Realm Framework was developed through an evidence-based approach, extensive consultation and engagement and benefits from valuable feedback received via a six-week formal consultation, reflecting the needs, priorities and aspirations of a broad range of local stakeholders.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the creation of this valuable piece of work. Your input and views will help drive improvement and investment in Waterloo and South Bank’s places and spaces.

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