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Report: Laying the foundations for a Healthier London

View of the Shard in Southwark in background and cyclists heading in to London in foreground
Cyclists pass a construction project in London

Summary

Sustrans' latest policy report looks at how the Mayor of London's forthcoming spatial development strategy - The London Plan - can harness new development for the mutual benefit of public health, environment and housing growth.

The report explains how the Mayor can steer new development to deliver growth that doesn't overwhelm the city's transport network - so called 'good growth'. It also explains how the Mayor can use walking and cycling connectivity to increase density at sites further from public transport and sets out a policy to ensure new developments deliver Healthy Streets that enable londoners to walk and cycle.

Developed following detailed stakeholder discussions and a roundtable in April 2017, the Report 'Laying the Foundations for a Healthier London' suggests three policy packages for the new London Plan:

1. Good Growth

To strategically achieve 'Good Growth' it must: first, set out clear and ambitious targets for London and it's transport system; second, place Healthy Streets at the fore of the transport chapter; and third, provide a proactive approach to active travel infrastructure, particularly in the 'Opportunity Areas'.

2. Unlock land for development

To help unlock more land for greater density development, it should, first, incorporate measures of cycling into the Public Transport Accessibility Levels (PTAL) system. This would allow denser development further away from public transport in special circumstances, for example, on the condition that walking and cycling infrastructure is provided and car parking restricted. Second, Transport for London should begin to develop a new tool to understand active travel connectivity and guide development in areas further away from public transport or town centres where many of London's major brownfield sites are.

3. Deliver Healthy Streets

To deliver Healthy Streets across London, it should include a universal street design policy that endorses design standards for Healthy Streets and ensures that all streets - not just cycle routes or major schemes - are delivered to these standards.

The recommendations set out in this report will enable not only help to tackle the shortage of new homes, but also help to ensure the transport impact of London’s growth is truly sustainable.

Read the full report