Lincoln’s Steep Hill wins best UK street award

Steep Hill in Lincoln has been named the best street in Britain by the Academy of Urbanism.

The street has won the title of 2012 Great Street at Friday afternoon’s Urbanism Awards, which recognises the best, most enduring or most improved urban environments.

The event is run by The Academy of Urbanism, whose members include industry-leading architects, planners, engineers, developers and designers.

During a visit to Lincoln, assessors from the Academy of Urbanism took on the challenge of climbing Steep Hill, which has a one in seven gradient.

Hosts from the City of Lincoln Council and Lincoln BIG took the assessors on a tour of the street, which forms part of the Roman route from the River Witham to Bailgate and is home to two Norman houses – the Jew’s House and Norman House.

Dating to Roman times as a connection between the Castle and town, Steep Hill is a narrow street characterised by its impressive gradient.

The street plays host to a variety of independent and entrepreneurial retail outlets, combined with events and entertainment to make this a welcoming and important destination regionally.

Kevin Murray, Chairman of The Academy of Urbanism, said: “Rising and turning gently as a connection between the city centre and Cathedral, Steep Hill has an immense historical quality.

“But it is not a place relying on its past for its future. Through the City Council, a Business Improvement Group is energetically working with local business and residents allowing the street to respond to the changing economic and social pressures of today.

“The Academy believes this care for our historic urban fabric whilst looking to the future should be recognised and rewarded,” Murray added.

Matt Corrigan, Chief Executive of Lincoln BIG, said: “This is brilliant news, Steep Hill is a really special place, and Lincoln BIG is delighted that its unique charm has been recognised this way.

“I think it makes us all realise that it’s not just one of Lincoln’s but one of the county’s unique and special places.

“For visitors, going up the hill is not a chore – it’s part of Lincoln’s charm, and is a special experience that rivals anything that any other world-class historic place can offer.”

City Councillor Neil Murray said: “We’re delighted that Steep Hill has been given the Great Street Award, and that the Academy of Urbanism recognised what a fantastic, unique place it is.

“It was great to show Steep Hill to the assessors, and I’d like to thank everyone who submitted photos – proving how passionate people are about it.”

The other winners were: European City of the Year – Lisbon, Portugal; The Great Town Award – Derry~Londonderry, Northern Ireland; The Great Neighbourhood of the Year – Old Town / Harbour, Margate; and The Great Place of the Year – Victoria Quarter, Leeds.