Access and connectivity

As densities rise the opportunities to promote sustainable travel alternatives also increase. When planning for large scale development such as garden communities, this should be planned around a step-change in integrated and sustainable transport systems, which will put walking, cycling and public transport at the heart of developments. The design of neighbourhoods has significant impact on the travel choices residents make both within the community and beyond. There is clear evidence that the density, mix of uses and design of streets all play a part in encouraging sustainable transport choices as well as influencing the activity levels and resultant health of the populations. Each new new community should make full provision for active travel (walking and cycling) and sustainable travel (public transport) so that together they account for around 70% of all trips.

To reduce the need for car use, new communities should be underpinned by an integrated and sustainable transport system. The aim is to ensure that a multi-modal approach is fostered, whereby residents consider which mode of travel is best for each specific journey (rather than always relying on a car). Journeys may be undertaken using a mixture of transport modes – walking, cycling and public transport – and good design will ensure that walking and cycling are given priority. These forms of transport should be central to the design of streets so as to reflect ‘healthy streets’ principles.

A sustainable urban structure should be based around a network of houses and a community hub. This should allow residents to access most of their day-to-day needs by walking or cycling; in particular, neighbourhoods should be located no more than 20 minutes from key transport hubs, services and local centres.


Page updated: 12/01/2021


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