Works have begun to transform Flat Iron Square into a better, brighter and cleaner public space as part of the Bankside Urban Forest initiative.
The scheme will close off the southern arm of Union Street where it runs through the square, reconnect the central island to the parade of shops and improve paving, furniture and lighting in the area.
The new-look square has been designed by Witherford Watson Mann Architects and Pax Engineering after consultation with local residents and businesses.
"London's Great Outdoors programme is creating an exciting network of attractive public spaces across the capital," says Daniel Moylan, deputy chairman of Transport for London.
"Flat Iron Square is part of a series of urban realm improvements stretching from the Thames at Bankside as far as Elephant & Castle – helping to create better access too the riverfront for both residents and visitors."
London Development Agency deputy chief executive Peter Bishop said: "Well designed public spaces can define an entire area.
"The changes to Flat Iron Square are part of a wider plan across Bankside to open up the area and spread the regeneration centred around Tate Modern – creating a Great Space that is an attractive place to live, visit and invest in."
In March 2010 the London Development Agency announced £4 million funding to help turn the vision into a reality.