Bankside has received many distinguished visitors in recent years and can now add a former chief of New York City Transit Police to the list.
Mike O'Conner recently addressed a Zoning Workshop at the Globe, organised by Better Bankside, on the experience of Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) in New York.
Mike is Vice-President of the Alliance for Downtown New York. This area includes Wall Street, Brooklyn Bridge and the site of the former Twin Towers. During his talk Mike thanked the British public for their sympathy and support following the tragic events of September 11.
Mike explained to the audience of local business people and residents how the BID scheme has transformed the Downtown New York area. It had been run-down until 1995 when substantial investment from local businesses began funding improvement initiatives. These ranged from graffiti removal and improved lighting to an Urban Rangers scheme. They have made the area cleaner, brighter, safer and a desirable district to live, visit and work.
Bankside has many parallels with Downtown New York. Both areas are urban, have suffered from neglect and are home to both businesses and residents. Also, Bankside has been chosen to undergo a pilot BID scheme, run by Better Bankside. In order to achieve maximum impact they plan in the first instance to concentrate on limited zones, with Park Street, Southwark Street and Borough High Street as potential candidates for improvements.
For more information on Better Bankside, BIDs or Zoning, contact Peter Williams on 07710 337594 or firstname.lastname@example.org He would also welcome comments or suggestions on improving the area.
• Eleanor Wallis works for Better Bankside