Visioning for the future of Clapham Junction

Author: Cyril Richert

An interim Visioning report has been released before the Strategic planning Committee on September 16th.

The final stage of the work is intended to be completed within the next two months and will include:

  • Finalisation of, and agreement on, the vision statement, Unique Selling Propositions (USPs), competitive positioning strategy;
  • completion of the final project report, which will include detailed recommendations and a comprehensive implementation strategy for each town centre, as well as detail on overarching recommendations across the Borough;
  • Development of unique brand identities for each town centre, including brand guidelines.

With a government grant of £100,000 in hands, Wandsworth Council decided to commissioned a study on the five town centres of the borough. The Mosaic Partnership was asked to “identify a positioning strategy for each of the borough’s five town centres“.

Online surveys were held in each of the town centres. In total, nearly 1,500 individual survey responses have been recorded, with 253 responses for Clapham Junction town centre. We have been discussing the interim result of the questionnaires in our previous article.

In order to propose the final brand for Clapham Junction, the team presented the various options to an online survey so that stakeholders could virtually vote.

CJ Brand

Here is a link to the online voting: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GQ69B7H

Their interim report on the Visionning project for Clapham Junction is below.

In any case the director of finance commented:

There is currently no identified budget provision to fund the implementation of any future recommendations in relation to the issues highlighted in paragraph 13, and so will have to be framed within the reality of the current financial situation or identify possible alternative sources of funding.

In other words, another exercise in spending money on doing something, with an aim to do nothing.
——————–

Clapham Junction Town Centre Consultancy Update

Clapham Junction Town Centre is centred around the bustling Clapham Junction train station – one of the busiest stations in Europe. At busy commuter times, evenings and weekends, the centre is a buzz of activity and people, though the daytime economy is notably slower. Nodes of the centre have become after-work drink and meeting locations and the area has continued to have a strong night-time economy. The area is linear over 4 different streets, and lacks the layout of a more traditional centre. Those individual streets have independent brands and awareness, and the name Clapham Junction itself has historically provided branding challenges.

Key Issues/Opportunities Key Challenges/Threats
  • Strong name recognition of the Clapham Junction train station
  • Strong offer of mid-to up-market retailers compared to the rest of the borough, while also offering a good mix of independents
  • Opportunities to create more office space in CJ and immediately adjacent to the station to bolster the daytime economy
  • Culture and heritage – telling the stories of the area through art and culture creates a clear differentiator
  • Architecture – The view of the “four corners” and up and down Lavender Hill and St John’s Hill is one of a kind and there is desire to find a way to highlight it.
  • Disparity of the area – it’s linear and has lots of arms and doesn’t feel like a real centre
  • The station entrance – as the front door to CJ there is a desire to declutter and open up the entrance to create a more welcoming experience
  • Cleaning – the newly installed streetscape is already very dirty. Consistent cleanliness throughout the center would make a huge positive impact
  • Must keep in mind the future impact of the Battersea Power Station/Nine Elms development

Vision

The PWG (Project Working Group) desires a vision that is built around the opportunity the station provides, including:

  • Captures the energy and movement that the train station brings to the centre
  • Creates a clean, safe and welcoming place to linger and discover all of the centre’s various areas and offerings
  • Diversifies and nurtures distinctive daytime, night-time and weekend economies
  • Pays homage to the history, heritage and architecture of the place

USPs/Competitive Position

The PWG has identified the following key USPs for Clapham Junction Town Centre:

  • The train station as transport hub – the place where people to connect and the first step into London from the Southeast
  • Architecture, history, heritage
  • Vibrant nighttime (and weekend?) economy

Supporting USPs include the access and proximity to London, and the diversity of offers you can get all in one stop.

Brand

There is still uncertainty over the brand name that will be utilized for the area between utilizing Clapham Junction or simply The Junction. We will be moving forward to brand design with both and exploring the different uses and impacts of each. For the tone of the brand, Clapham Junction will move forward with the concept of the town centre being a place where you make “connections” and that it’s the starting point to several different destinations once you arrive.

The full interim report is available on the website: http://wandsworthtowncentres.co.uk/

UPDATE 23/10/2013: The Mosaic Partnership said:

“The recent vote on the brand came back with somewhat unclear results. My sense from looking at the votes together with the comments is that you all were/are drawn to the original version of the logo we selected last week, but there are concerns that it doesn’t reflect the “train track” aspect enough, looks too much like a snowflake, etc. Several who voted for options other than the original did so only because they thought it better conveyed how “real train tracks look.”

At this point, we are worried that we are all getting caught up in details of what a train crossing should look like. Brands don’t have to be literal… in fact the best brands usually aren’t, but rather convey an idea or an iconic image that people recognize and associate with a place.”

Therefore they suggest to paint one of the track red on their “snow-flake” type crossing.

In our view, adding a colour to the design is inappropriate because:
– this single small red spot is odd in the image;
– adds unnecessary complexity to the image;
– makes the usage of the brand more complex (just think of the cost involve in using a colour rather than black and white for some ad posters).

If you indeed wanted to remove the snow-flake feeling and keep the design simple with a similar image, you could just extend one of the track, as per the image below:CJ_brand_concept_CJAG

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