York Civic Trust

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York Civic Trust

Current Activities: Improving the Streetscape

A typical use of a York streetscape: Saint Sampson Square (former Thursday Market) during a performance of The Last Judgement, the finale of York Mystery Plays

Exhibition Square - plans to improve it are in hand

Improving the Streetscape in Parliament Street, York

The Terry's site has been waiting for re-development

Thomas Herbert House between buses
York's inner-city streetscape, its ambience and public realm, are unique and spectacular resources that are fundamental to the city's present and future prosperity. They are amongst the city's special selling points, not just for visitors, but also for residents, entrepreneurs, investors, job creators, employees on the move, and students.  But the streets are crucial for visitors: York receives seven million visitors a year, but where two million go inside the museums, Minster and other tourist attractions, five million walk around the city.

We ignore these resources at our peril: they are currently being degraded and any qualities they have can easily be lost: but they can be reinforced, enhanced or restored.  One of the big concerns is the abuse by cars of York streets: see the York Press of 9 April here for Vice-Chairman's comment on parking.
York Civic Trust has contributed to the City of York Council's 'Streetscape Manual',  issued with the City's draft  Local Plan.  See also our proposals for improvements published in February 2015.

York Civic Trust aims to pursue a range of initiatives which will improve our townscape. By influencing planning policies and planning controls, encouraging good design and promoting the removal of clutter, we will work with the Council to Keep York Special.  There are 100 fewer bollards than there were before the Trust's campaign began.
We were delighted that the Department of Transport's 2013 Traffic Advisory Leaflet Reducing Sign Clutter cited York as a case study of removal of some unnecessary signs.

Other initiatives such as the Views of York project, the installation of civic plaques, finding dwellings where people can 'live over the shop' and our support of the York Design Awards, all help to promote the city's excellence and raise awareness.

Street Clutter article by Sir Ron Cooke.pdf

Here is a 2009 strategy document by Sir Ron Cooke.  DOWNTOWN YORK.pdf

If you are interested in joining the Trust, this page has our very simple membership form.