Living Streets worked with Cycling Scotland to assess the conditions for walking and cycling around 29 social housing locations in Scotland.


Social housing

Living Streets Scotland reviewed the sites and assessed their suitability for walking and cycling, considering whether it felt safe, practical and pleasant to walk and cycle around the 29 sites. This is part of Social Housing Fund partnership work between Cycling Scotland, Living Streets Scotland and SFHA and Sustrans Scotland

The review considered:

  • Area context, such as population density and through-traffic;
  • Immediate area around the properties, such as footways;
  • The wider residential area, including nearby carriageways and access to public transport;
  • Access to places that are further away, for example for employment or larger shopping areas.

The findings


This review found a number of common themes that create barriers to everyday walking and cycling.

Footways were often uneven and poorly maintained, and were often blocked by vehicles. Roads around the sites are dominated by cars, both in terms of the road layout and the need to cross main roads to get around. 

Many sites are cut off from other nearby areas, by roads and by large areas of greenspace, which can be intimidating to walk and cycle through particularly after dark. Walking and cycling routes varied a lot between areas, meaning people walking and cycling face a range of good and bad conditions within many of the journeys they make. 

What good looks like

As part of the review we also considered what good conditions for walking and cycling look like. We think, generally, good urban environments for walking and cycling:

  • Have a sense of place. They should be the kinds of places that people want to spend time in, as well as pass through.
  • Are accessible from places that are important for people’s lives.
  • Are good for all pedestrians, including people who use mobility aids and have other access needs.
  • Should be judged against their potential to be used for everyday journeys by a very wide range of people from across the community.





Download the report

You can download the main report below, and additional reports (including individual site reports) at the bottom of the page. 

Lessons learned: report

Support for Registered Social Landlords

We are interested in improving conditions for pedestrians on the streets of our towns and cities. Poor conditions for pedestrians can have profound effects on health, wellbeing, and the simple practicalities of everyday life.

We’re offering our help and expertise to registered social landlords in Scotland, in connection with property you manage, to support you, your tenants, and other stakeholders:

  • to understand how your tenants are affected by conditions for pedestrians,
  • to work out how these could be improved and to build a case to support improvements,
  • to work towards securing funding to support change.

Our support is free to you because it’s funded by the Social Housing Fund.

We can help in different ways, which we can discuss with you. These might include:

  • carrying out an expert review of local conditions and writing a report on these,
  • carrying out a street quality audit based on the expertise of residents,
  • discussing the findings of a review, and potential changes, with you, tenants, and stakeholders (both to pass on ideas and to refine our own understanding),
  • supporting you or other stakeholders to work toward applications for funding to develop ideas further.

To find out more, please contact us and mark your email FAO Robert Weetman.

Email us

Individual site reports