Walkable Neighbourhoods

What are Walkable Neighbourhoods?

Walkable Neighbourhoods are new neighbourhoods and streets designed to promote the use of walking, cycling and sustainable transport. These places are planned to reduce the need to travel and include a mix of uses, green spaces and facilities to support the new development.

The key principles

A neighbourhood is a place where active and sustainable ways of transportation, such as walking and cycling area increased and motor vehicle traffic reduced.  The objective is to design neighbourhoods where all key facilities are with a 15-20-minute walk.

What are the benefits?

We need to deliver healthy places with a focus on walkable neighbourhoods not reliant on car journeys to access local shops and services. We aim to: 

  • Create healthy communities, places, and buildings that both, promote good health and wellbeing and, address health inequalities and climate changes through, for example reducing the use of energy and water, using more renewable energy, and increasing more and better sustainable transport choices include; walking and cycling.
  • Build new net zero energy-efficient housing.

Planning for Walkable Neighbourhoods

During October and November 2020, we hosted a series of specialist themed workshops, exploring the potential benefits this alternative development model could bring to our cities, towns and villages. Each of the workshops discussed Walkable Neighbourhoods in the context of Access, Roads, Refuse, Climate Change, Energy and Environment, Employment, Community, Schools and Housing.

Through a series of presentations and workshops, we engaged with over 200 professionals covering a wide range of specialist backgrounds. We received hundreds of comments through the online feedback channels and have used this to help shape and inform the next stage of the project.

Over the next few months we will be developing the project to deliver a series of outcomes linked to the Essex Climate Change Commission; Walkable Neighbourhoods and the Built Environment are key themes of this.

The next steps of the project will include:

  • Updated content on the Essex Design Guide website including embedding Climate Change throughout the online guide,
  • Specific Guidance notes covering Climate Change,
  • BRE toolkit to provide guidance on how to achieve net-zero carbon buildings/developments,
  • Guidance on monitoring climate change initiatives,
  • Links to joint Climate Action Plan with all Essex Districts,
  • Light Pollution and Energy Reduction,
  • Evidence Base top support the Walkable Neighbourhood Development Model.

If you would like to get involved with the project or wish to learn more, please feel free to contact us via the Essex Design Guide mail box.

Page updated: 28/06/2021

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