As we launch our second annual Britain’s Best Walking Neighbourhood Award, we want to hear about the places in England, Scotland and Wales that are doing the most to put pedestrians first and leading the way in enabling residents to walk every day for transport or leisure.
With Britain’s Best Walking Neighbourhood Award, we are celebrating local authorities, developers, individuals and communities that have made positive changes to help make neighbourhoods more walkable – from making routes and public spaces greener, to building mixed-use developments that encourage active travel, to improving the way local streets connect people to the places they want to go.
Our chief executive, Vanessa Griffiths, said: “We have a vision of a country designed for walking, in the open countryside, and close to where we all live and work.
“By making it easy for people to walk their everyday local journeys, we help them live more active, healthier lives. Not only that, we help tackle some of society’s biggest problems including growing levels of obesity, social isolation, congestion and air pollution.
“Sadly, for many of us the areas we live in have been designed to favour cars rather than people, making walking unsafe, or unpleasant.”
“With this award, we want to highlight the places and people already doing a great job to make walking easier in their local neighbourhoods. We also want to encourage others to think about the small changes they could make to improve the walkability of their neighbourhoods and health and wellbeing of their residents, while creating more vibrant communities.”
We believe that one of the most important features of a walking neighbourhood is its ‘greenness’ or how well it connects people to the natural environment. Local green spaces and routes make areas more attractive to walk and provide opportunities for physical activity as well as to relax, recharge and connect.
Vanessa added: “The majority of us live in built-up areas, and evidence shows that communities highly value green spaces and routes in their neighbourhood and hugely benefit from having regular contact with the natural environment. We are keen to hear about neighbourhoods that have improved or created new green routes, spaces or features, because we know that these make neighbourhoods more appealing for walking.”
A neighbourhood is any district, community or area where people live and work - it could be the heart of a big city, or a small village with just a few streets and houses.
If your neighbourhood is great for walking, fill out our nomination form by 3 March 2019, and tell us why it should be crowned Britain’s Best Walking Neighbourhood 2019.