I’ve been applying my architectural eye to my own neighbourhood, wondering quite what it is that makes parts of Lewisham so problematic. One of them really leapt out at me. Lewisham suffers badly from visual clutter.

![Lee High Road Clutter](https://i0.wp.com/www.onemanandhisblog.com/content/images/2004/08/aug04clutter1.jpg?resize=176%2C300 "Lee High Road Clutter")![More Lee High Road Clutter](https://i2.wp.com/www.onemanandhisblog.com/content/images/2004/08/aug04clutter2.jpg?resize=200%2C300 "More Lee High Road Clutter")
The problem is particularly pronounced on Lee High Road, where the above pictures were taken. The combination of gaudy façades and multiples extrusions of signage into the space above the street make the whole place feel busy and, frankly, cheap. It’s almost certainly counter-productive, too. That sort of visual clutter discourages people from exploring. There’s a reason why the best shopping streets are cleanly and simply signed and some councils ruthlessly control the visual aspect of the retail areas.