Lively Cities project

Between 2011 and 2016, Brighton & Hove City Council worked with local communities, urban design professionals and INTERREG IVB Lively Cities partners to transform the area around Ann Street and Providence Place Gardens into a lively, safe and successful public space.

What the Lively Cities project is

Between late 2011 and early 2016, Brighton & Hove City Council worked with local communities, urban design professionals and INTERREG IVB Lively Cities partners to transform the area around Ann Street and Providence Place Gardens (the small park opposite St Bartholomew’s Church) into a lively, safe and successful public space.

lively cities logo

The delivery of this project relied on an innovative place-making approach that involved a competition for ideas, temporary onsite testing of the Common Room idea developed by Plan Projects and Luis Trevino Architects and site assessments and surveys carried out by volunteers.


Time lapse videos of transformation of the area are available to view from the project's Facebook page

Consultation and the 'Common Room' pilot

In October 2012 the area was radically transformed for two weeks by a series of physical and other changes into the ‘Common Room’ an outside ‘room’ for the use and enjoyment of all. This two-week pilot study was closely monitored and analysed so we could assess how the area should be improved on a permanent basis.

Following assessment of the Common Room experiment (PDF 2.66MB) and the obtaining of additional funding from a variety of sources, the council’s Transport Committee agreed on 30 April 2013 that plans would be drawn up for a permanent transformation that was completed in 2016.

Further background information on the project

The report and other documents containing the findings of ‘The Common Room’ work is available to view via the following links.

The work is part of the EU INTERREG IVB assisted ‘Lively Cities’ (LICI) project- a four year project aiming to strengthen communities by reclaiming public space for public use.