Greyfriars Open Streets
Monthly events called Open Streets were organised during the warmer months of 2019 to celebrate the historic Greyfriars area of Leicester. Streets were closed to traffic and opened for people to enjoy for an afternoon on the last Sunday of each month.
Themed walks, talks and bike rides, on-street entertainment, music and food were on offer. Children had a go on balance bikes, created word art or made a model Victorian house – and all the activities were free.
Blacksmith artists demonstrated their work and people could have a go at forging hot metal to make a keyring to take home. Leicester-based samba band Sambando brought their Brazilian rhythms to the new Market Square. There was also the opportunity to watch street artists creating graffiti with a heritage theme.
Each month had a themed cycle ride and guided walk, offering an insight into the history of Greyfriars and its recent renewal through the Townscape Heritage Initiative.
Deputy city mayor Cllr Adam Clarke, who leads on environment and transportation, said:
“They’ve been a great way of helping us to think differently about how we use our streets and public spaces.
“Through the regeneration of the Greyfriars area we have been able to explore our city’s rich history as well as bringing activities out onto the streets, encouraging visitors to the area.
“We have to reduce vehicle emissions to help tackle the climate emergency and improve air quality, and events like this show us that this is not only possible, it’s preferable, with the streets opened up for people to enjoy.”
Open Streets was one of several actions being carried out by the city council to help reduce vehicle emissions and tackle the climate crisis, and more events are planned.
See http://www.choosehowyoumove.co.uk/openstreets/ for more information.