Liveable neighbourhoods

The Mayor and Transport for London are making a total of £85.9m ‘Liveable Neighbourhood’ funding available to London boroughs over five years, as part of delivering Healthy Streets for London.

Grants of between £1m and £10 will be available to boroughs for community supported projects that reduce reliance on cars and encourage walking, cycling and use of public transport.

"The Liveable Neighbourhoods programme is an exciting opportunity for Londoners across our city to have cleaner, more attractive towns and neighbourhoods. It's a significant step forward in creating the kind of environment that we know will improve quality of life for all." Matt Winfield, Acting Director, London.

At Sustrans we believe that by changing the way we travel we can make our towns and cities healthier and better places for all of us.

We work with communities to create people-friendly places, helping to transform them into attractive, lively neighbourhoods that are safer and easier to travel through on foot and by bike, improving health, well-being and air quality.

A liveable neighbourhood is a district or community within a town or city worth living in, or an environment fit to live in, easy or bearable. In practical terms, it is a place with healthy streets and public spaces, clean air and priority given to walking, and public transport over the private car.

A place where we would all like to be.

Streets are the building blocks of neighbourhoods. By adopting the Healthy Streets Approach boroughs can improve air quality, reduce congestion and make London's diverse communities greener, healthier and more attractive places in which to live, play and do business.

This approach provides the framework on which to devise policies and strategies to transform our streets.

Children and parents walking to school

The London Mayor's 10 Healthy Street Indicators:

  • Pedestrians from all walks of life
  • People choose to walk, cycle and use public transport
  • Clean air
  • People feel safe
  • Not too noisy
  • Easy to cross
  • Places to stop and rest
  • Shade and shelter
  • People feel relaxed
  • Things to see and do

family walking in streets with greenery

Why change is needed is very clear, but what does success look like? We have put together a list of practical examples where the healthy streets approach has been adopted to deliver liveable neighbourhoods.

  • Neighbourhoods free of through traffic
  • Main roads with safe space for cycling
  • Accessible streets that are easier to cross
  • Places people want to be

People cycling on pedestrianised high street in Walthamstow

In Walthamstow, residents and businesses now benefit from safer, quieter streets that are easier to cross, walk or cycle along, with new greenery and an enhanced public realm. By managing through-traffic away from residential streets and shopping parades and onto surrounding roads the local environment is transformed.

The TfL-funded ‘mini-Holland’ scheme saw filters and controls go in to ensure through-traffic stays on main roads, but retained key bus routes. Motor vehicle volumes have halved as a result. Since the scheme was completed, 14,000 fewer motor-vehicles pass through the neighbourhood each day and residents report being able to hear bird song again.

A woman pushes a pushchair along a 'continuous pavement' over a side road, while a car waits for her to cross.

Streets can throw up many barriers for older people, younger people and disabled people. This doesn’t have to be the case. A well-designed street with safe crossing points and pavements with priority can make all the difference. Continuous footways, such as this one in Clapham Old Town, give people priority over vehicles at side roads.

Raised crossings with flush edges ensure an easier crossing for people with mobility aids. A street that’s designed inclusively is good for all.

Person cycling along a cycle lane protected from traffic by planters

Many short journeys could be cycled, but fear of traffic collisions put people off. The busier the road, the less attractive it is for cycling. Using protected space for cycling, or segregated cycle tracks, people on bikes are safely separated from traffic. They dramatically reduce the likelihood of collisions and the fear of them. Royal College Street in Camden uses planters, parking space and rubber blocks to protect people cycling from traffic.

At junctions, traffic signals safely separate motor-traffic, cycles and pedestrians. Zebra crossings give people on foot clear priority at key crossing points.

people sitting under a tree in the city

Shade and shelter create comfortable places for people to meet each other and relax. A well-designed street is more than a way to get from A to B. Thoughtful design of the public realm results in streets becoming places where people want to be. Features such as shade, shelter and seating encourage people to relax outside and offer a moment’s rest when out walking. Public art can brighten up an area, attracting people in. 

Supporting on-street activities such as community festivals or markets provide opportunities for people to meet their neighbours and enjoy the shared public space that streets provide, and helps create a vibrant local economy.