Cities and towns should be places that prioritise the people who live and spend time there.
At Sustrans, we create places that connect us to each other and what we need, where everyone can thrive without having to use a car.
For a long time now, places have been designed around cars, leaving less space for walking, cycling and spending time in.
Car-dominated spaces create congestion and damage our environment and health. They harm people who are already disadvantaged the most.
Our cities and towns can – and should – be designed with everyone’s health and wellbeing in mind.
They should have the space to do the things that make our lives better and add to our happiness.
That's why we create sociable places where friends and facilities are a short walk away, and it’s easy and pleasant to travel beyond our neighbourhood.
These are communities in which friendships are made and people belong.
Places with clean air and green spaces where everyone has the choice to walk, cycle, scoot or wheel safely to school, work and around their local area.
We think that the best way to do this is to ensure that it is easy for people to meet most of their everyday needs by a short, convenient and pleasant 20-minute return walk.What is a 20-minute neighbourhood?
We don’t work alone. We bring together the people who live and spend time in the area, including those with seldom-heard voices, to make the change they want to see.
We work with schools to transform the school run and educate the next generation of commuters.
We work with local authorities to create, test and improve the infrastructure that makes it easier for everyone to walk, cycle and connect.
Creating streets that make walking, wheeling and cycling safer for everyone also has wide-ranging benefits for the local economy.
The temporary changes implemented during the Covid-19 pandemic demonstrated the benefits and viability of this approach.
We combined community-led street design, behaviour change and infrastructure improvements in Marks Gate, East London, to increase opportunities for walking and cycling.
The result was a lively and more people-centred environment.
We worked with the local community and businesses to reimagine the approach to the towns' railway station, to create a space that feels more welcoming, is people friendly and inclusive.
The project identified the aspects of the urban environment of Tyburn that contributed to or exacerbated the social isolation of older people.