Living Streets Brighton and Hove aims to promote the idea of Brighton and Hove as a walkable city, accessible to and enjoyed by everyone. A walkable city puts people first – a better walking environment requires safe, clean, green, beautiful streets and neighbourhoods that help create sustainable liveable communities for all of us, whoever we are and wherever we live in the city.
In the 20th century, city planning was about planning for the car; in the 21st century we have learnt the importance of putting people and the quality of our environment first. We live in a great city and we can make it even safer, healthier, more sustainable, more practical, more sociable, more accessible, more inclusive and more welcoming to all residents, business and visitors by encouraging more people to use and explore it on foot.
Our priorities are:
- Build a network. We are a group of local resident volunteers, part of the national Living Streets network. We want to build a diverse network of active volunteers who will help us get to know neighbourhoods across the city, and find the right ways forward for each place.
- Reduce traffic speeds across the city. Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC) has introduced very welcome 20mph speed limits on many roads, but their partial use is confusing and they are rarely enforced. We need 20mph across the city by default, with greater emphasis on street design that helps reduce traffic speeds, as well as on enforcement on all vehicles.
- Increase safe crossings. Traffic still dominates much of the city, in spite of some excellent improvements by BHCC. We need more controlled crossings, zebras, traffic islands and refuges along the whole middle of key roads (e.g. the seafront) to help slow traffic down and remind drivers of the priority and vulnerability of people on foot.
- Remove physical barriers to walking. Removing pedestrian railings (proven to reduce collisions with pedestrians), pavement clutter, poorly sited waste and recycling bins; and building wider pavements – to create safer walking spaces. We support programmes to increase walking to school, to work and to all local facilities.
- Green our streets and neighbourhoods, and improve our public realm. Greening helps tackle pollution and climate change, improves air quality and increases the attractiveness of streets to walk and linger in as well as supporting biodiversity and providing shade: we will campaign for street tree-planting, as well as supporting low-cost, community initiatives such as seed swaps, guerilla gardening etc. as well as more public toilets, seating and open community spaces.
- Work with others. We collaborate with many other groups interested in walking, cycling, heritage and conservation and active travel as well as politicians, community and neighbourhood associations. We participate in Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and 20 Minute Neighbourhoods, and in relevant BHCC programmes and strategies to improve travel and transport in the city. We can achieve much more together.
We really want your input – to draw on your ideas and local knowledge about what needs to be done, or just to keep you in touch with what we are doing. If you want to get involved, please get in touch through the links on the right.