St Paul’s Way Festival

Each year in June, with partnership and funding support from the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, Accents works with St Paul’s Way Trust and more than 20 local community groups and performers to transform St Paul’s Way into a clean, green and car-free street, with gardens filled with performers, dancers, games, cycling and skating.

The festival promotes ‘Clean Air Day’ to raise awareness about the health impact of air pollution and air quality initiatives, what we can do to protect ourselves and our children, and the individual changes we can all make to help improve air quality. The festival in 2019 attracted more than 1,000 people to ‘reclaim’ the street.

The community street festival isn’t just about stopping the traffic for the day. In 2019 there were promotions by E-Car Club with electric car test drives, cycling by Tower Hamlets Wheelers and Sustrans, roller-skating by the East London Skaters group and activities by Friends of the Earth and Reclaim the Streets.

The street garden was designed by Public Works art and architecture practice, which has built a ‘green wall’ and anaerobic digester in Poplar.

A performance stage was set up by the Poplar Union arts and cultural organisation for live music and spoken word. It featured the Grand Union Orchestra, Drumworks, Afro-Brazilian percussion group Dende Bloco and young performers from Spotlight.