Salus journal

Healthy Planet. Healthy People.

Regional & local government / Healthy Cities

Healthy City Design 2017

Healthy streets for London

By Valerie Shawcross 08 Jan 2018 0

Valerie Shawcross, deputy mayor of London for transport, shares the city's 'Healthy streets' policy – an approach that aims to put people and their health at the centre of decision-making.


Growing inactivity among city populations is a key concern, and statistics for London are striking. More than 40 per cent of Londoners aren’t achieving the recommended 150 minutes of activity a week, and 28 per cent are active for less than 30 minutes a week.

Physical inactivity increases the risk of developing a range of chronic diseases, including diabetes, dementia, depression, heart disease and cancer. Consequently, we need to design physical activity back into our everyday lives. Active travel – in the form of walking, cycling and using public transport – is one of the simplest and most affordable ways for people to get more active and live healthier lives.

A ‘Healthy streets’ approach should ensure people and their health are put at the centre of decision-making, setting out how people can be encouraged to use cars less and walk, cycle and use public transport more. Adopting such an approach will also help improve air quality, reduce congestion, and make London’s diverse communities greener, healthier and more attractive places in which to live, work and play.