Encourage public transport, walking and cycling
The shift to walking, cycling and public transport can deliver better health and quality of life for people and make more attractive, competitive places with less congestion and better air quality.
Transport planning policies need to facilitate ways of getting around that are less carbon intensive. Local authorities are well placed to identify local priorities and opportunities for providing good quality, viable alternatives to private car use and for better, easier connections between places.
Thinking strategically about movement can link reducing carbon emissions to the broader sustainable community strategy, through the local area agreement and local development framework as well as promoting economic development at local and regional levels.
Achieving this will require considerate planning and design in existing neighbourhoods as well as in new neighbourhoods. The key is considering the location of activities and designing and managing safe, high-quality environments, for example using green infrastructure to link homes, schools, local shops and healthcare services.
Good urban design will encourage people to make short journeys on foot or by bike. The economic and social benefits in terms of reduced obesity, increased physical fitness and lower incidence of respiratory diseases can be considerable. Obesity levels and chronic diseases resulting from inactivity cost the health service £10 billion a year.
Cycling England reports that a 20 per cent increase in cycling by 2015 could save £107million in reducing premature deaths, £52 million in lowered NHS costs and £87million from absenteeism from work.
Building at high densities in places accessible to public transport, and concentrating development in existing urban areas, encourages sustainable travel.
Tags: transport, regions and subregions, cities and towns, neighbourhoods, buildings and spaces
CABE and Urban Practitioners
with the cities of Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield