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We want to make our streets more accessible and attractive for everyone, and that means making sure we’re an inclusive organisation.

To that end, we’ve begun reviewing and changing how we work. Our Engagement Manager Aisha Hannibal looks at how we are holding ourselves to account. 

We are passionate about making big changes in our communities, and being a powerful voice for pedestrians. But we simply can’t say that if we are only hearing a limited range of voices.  

We want to make sure that underrepresented voices are prioritised across our organisation. 

5 women of mixed races and ages smile at the camera
a group of people walk in a leafy street

Too often people of colour, disabled people, women, children and other marginalised people are excluded from designing and planning our public spaces. And it is often these groups who are most adversely affected by poorly designed streets. 

We aim to be an inclusive organisation, but we know we still have work to do. Inequality won’t disappear without sustained efforts to challenge and eradicate it.  

We need to make sure that we don’t systemically exclude people based on disability, gender and race.  

In 2020 we published our intention to address the power imbalance and lack of representation within Living Streets. We could see how our ways of working have reinforced and sustained barriers to inclusion, and we set out our Commitment to Diversity. As our work on this has progressed, we’ve become more aware of the extent of what is needed. 


To be inclusive, we need to collectively reimagine our work – and that includes our network of campaigners and local groups across the UK.

We need to ask whose voice is missing from our campaigns, whose voice is needed and whose voice is being heard at the moment. This vital process not only takes time, it means unlearning – putting aside preconceptions and past habits. We want to take time to listen, in a way that is rooted in humility, and followed up by action.

What are our communities really saying? Whose voices are underrepresented?

We also need a combination of immediate small changes and planning bigger strategic actions for the years ahead.

So we are building equitable partnerships with community groups and organisations to help us change our approach. Recently, alongside partner organisations, we organised training and hosted a number of digital events which prioritised accessibility, such as our Cut the Clutter campaign webinar. Creating a standard for making our events accessible, by working with British Sign Language interpreters, live subtitle captioning and giving audio descriptions - it is a good start.

But we want to do more.


People experience oppression in different ways. We know from speaking to those who feel marginalised that they don’t simply slot into simple homogenous groups.

We need to look at multiple factors, and how they combine to affect an individual. We need to recognise that people experience different forms of oppression which overlap. This doesn’t just exclude them in one way, but in many ways simultaneously.

By working with multifaceted communities and individuals , we hope to offer a more inclusive way for people to participate in our campaigns, and ensure that we’re not causing harm by being rigid in how we work with people.

a woman with a backpack walks away from the camera

About the author

Aisha Hannibal

Engagement Manager, Living Streets

[email protected]