Healthy Streets

Our Healthy Streets for London document sets out how we will put people and their health at the centre of our decision making, helping everyone to use cars less and to walk, cycle and use public transport more.

Healthy Streets for London

The Healthy Streets Approach was the framework used when the Mayor's Transport Strategy was being created.

Healthy Streets Officers

Healthy Streets Officers (HSOs) funded by us are working with some London boroughs on activities that encourage more walking and cycling. HSOs help community groups, schools and businesses to reduce car journeys and support our cycle skills training.

The programme is managed by Sustrans.

Healthy Streets toolkit

We have developed these resources to help you put the Healthy Streets Approach into practice. They cover the whole process from initial assessment, through implementation, to evaluation.

Guide to the Healthy Streets indicators

This guide is the first tool to use in any Healthy Streets assessment. It uses questions for each of the 10 Healthy Streets indicators to help you think about the issues that affect the experience of using a street and and spending time there. This will help you consider what changes could be made to improve the experience.

Healthy Streets Explained

Healthy Streets Explained describes the Healthy Streets Approach in a format of questions and answers. Healthy Streets Explained is interactive - it's designed to be used on a computer and not printed.

Healthy Streets and green infrastructure

Green infrastructure in an urban setting like London may include parks, woodlands, private gardens, street trees, allotments, playing fields, green roofs and sustainable drainage systems (SuDS). Well planned, designed and maintained green infrastructure offers many different benefits.

Including green infrastructure in street schemes can contribute to the full range of Healthy Streets Indicators. Our document highlights how green infrastructure does that.

The Mayor of London's website has more information about how green infrastructure protects people from air pollution.

Healthy Streets check for designers

The Healthy Streets check for designers is a spreadsheet tool to support designers. The latest version of the tool is available below. It was updated in May 2021.

It helps you to make sure any proposed changes to the way streets are laid out or used result in improvements. You check the scheme against the 10 Healthy Streets indicators (comparing it with the existing conditions on that street).

You can use results from the Healthy Streets check to show the public how changes to the way streets are laid out and used will result in improvements. The check holds no formal status in guidance and decision making, but advises designers and decision makers on how a project fits with Healthy Streets policy.

Healthy Streets mystery shopper survey

The Healthy Streets mystery shopper survey was designed to assess how London's streets perform against the Healthy Streets indicators over time. Assessors visit a changing sample of London's streets each year and fill out a questionnaire covering different aspects of the street environment. The results let us measure the performance of London's streets over time - this can be compared across street types and geographic regions.

Find out more in Section 6.4 of Travel in London report 11.

Healthy Streets survey

This guide provides an introduction to the Healthy Streets survey.

The Healthy Streets survey is an on-street questionnaire which asks people walking and spending time on a street about how they perceive the street. It is designed to capture the real-life experience of people on London's streets in relation to the 10 Healthy Streets indicators. The results give a measurable performance of London's streets which can be compared across locations and over time.

In 2017 we published a summary of the results from previous Healthy Streets surveys.

Small Change, Big Impact

Small Change Big Impact is a practical guide to delivering temporary, light touch and low-cost projects to change the way a street looks and feels. These projects can have a big impact on people's lives, and can often be the first step to more permanent changes.

It enables people to see how the Healthy Streets Approach can benefit them, showing the potential of their local streets and public spaces for uses beyond moving and parking cars. 

Adopting the Healthy Streets Approach will help us to improve air quality, reduce congestion and make London's diverse communities become greener, healthier and more attractive places in which to live, play and do business.

What is the Healthy Streets Approach?

The Healthy Streets Approach puts people, and their health, at the heart of decision making. This results in a healthier, more inclusive city where people choose to walk, cycle and use public transport.

The Healthy Streets Approach is not an idealised vision for a model street. It is a long-term plan for improving Londoners' and visitors' experiences of our streets, helping everyone to be more active and enjoy the health benefits of being on our streets.

80% of Londoners' travel happens on our streets. The best way to get more people out walking, cycling and using public transport is to improve the quality of the experience of being on those streets. The Healthy Streets Approach focuses on creating streets that are pleasant, safe and attractive, where noise, air pollution, accessibility and lack of seating and shelter are not barriers that prevent people - particularly our most vulnerable people - from getting out and about.

The 10 Healthy Streets indicators are:

Pedestrians from all walks of life
London's streets should be welcoming places for everyone to walk, spend time in and engage in community life.

People choose to walk, cycle and use public transport
A successful transport system enables more people to walk and cycle more often.

Clean air
Improving air quality delivers benefits for everyone and reduces unfair health inequalities.

People feel safe
The whole community should feel comfortable and safe on our streets at all times. People should not feel worried about road danger.

Not too noisy
Reducing the noise impacts of traffic will directly benefit health and improve the ambience of our streets.

Easy to cross
Making streets easier to cross is important to encourage more walking and to connect communities.

Places to stop and rest
A lack of resting places can limit mobility for certain groups of people.

Shade and shelter
Providing shade and shelter enables everybody to use our streets, whatever the weather.

People feel relaxed
More people will walk or cycle if our streets are not dominated by motor traffic, and if pavements and cycle paths are not overcrowded, dirty or in disrepair.

Things to see and do
People are more likely to use our streets when their journey is interesting and stimulating, with attractive views, buildings, planting and street art.

Transport and health

The main relationships between transport and health, and the actions we are taking to improve health, are set out on the Transport and health page.