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UK Walking Summit 2024 programme

A warm welcome to Living Streets' UK Walking Summit 2024

How do we demonstrate the impact and value of walking friendly neighbourhoods? 

That is the question we will explore today, with keynote speakers and panellists from around the UK and further afield sharing their experience of making meaningful change.  

The Summit comes at an exciting time for the future of transport policy, with local and regional elections in May as well as a General Election expected in the autumn. Today we will consider how we can ensure that active travel is at the heart of sustainable transport planning, and how we can overcome opposition in the current political climate. 

We are delighted to bring our Summit to South Yorkshire, and to shine a spotlight on the work being undertaken in the region to reimagine streets for walking and wheeling. 

We are excited for our workshops - online and in the venue - and ‘walkshops’- a series of walks and talks, both in Sheffield and online, so you can see change for yourself and consider streets from a new perspective. 

I want to say a huge thanks to our hosts Sheffield City Council and South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, and our event sponsors Arup and Tracsis for supporting this year’s Summit. 

You can browse this page to see our itinerary, information about our morning walks and the afternoon walkshops, bios of our speakers, plus everything else you need for the day. 

And don't forget to join in on social media - whether you are in Sheffield or joining us online. The hashtag is #WalkingSummit. 

However you join us, I hope you enjoy the day! 

Dame Jane Roberts, Chair of Trustees, Living Streets

Dame Jane Roberts headshot

For attendees in Sheffield

The Summit will take place at Crowne Plaza Royal Victoria, Victoria Station Road, Sheffield S4 7YE. Map 

Registration opens at 10am. Tea and coffee will be available. 

The main morning and afternoon plenaries will take place in the Ballroom. 

There is a prayer room (the Midland Room), which can be found on the ground floor. You do not need to ask for access, please use it as you wish. The room is free all day. 

Lunch is provided and will be served in the Grand Lounge and Waverley, where the exhibitor stands can be found. The lunch is vegetarian, with some vegan and gluten free options. Please email [email protected] or ask a member of staff if you have any further needs. 

Please do remember to fill in our feedback form at the end of the day. It will only take a few minutes and will help us improve future events. Fill in our form now. 



The front entrance has five steps into the reception. There is a step-free route to the right of the building as you face it. 

Our venue has a hearing loop and we will also have live captions for the sessions in the main auditorium. 

There are several toilets available for attendees, including an accessible toilet by the hotel reception. 

If you have any other accessibility needs, please email [email protected]


We will have photographers documenting the day. If you do not wish to appear in any photographs, please notify a Living Streets member of staff. 

Flash photography may be used.


Exhibition stalls can be found in the Grand Lounge and Waverley as you come through reception. We are delighted to have the following exhibitors:  

For attendees online

We will email a link to the Zoom feed to the email address used to register in advance of the Summit.

Online attendees will have a choice of two workshops and will be able to select which one they attend by joining the appropriate ‘breakout’ room at that stage of the day (see Walkshops below for details of the choices).




Our live captions will be made available to our online participants. 

There will be breaks throughout the day for online participants. 

During plenary sessions there is a Question and Answer box 

During interactive workshop sessions there is provision for asking questions by unmuting, raising hand or writing in the chat.  

We will have a Living Streets member of staff available on Zoom for any queries. 

let us know your thoughts 

Please do remember to fill in our feedback form at the end of the day. It will only take a few minutes, and will help us improve future events.

morning session

All takes place in the Ballroom unless otherwise stated.

10:00am: Registration

10:30am:  Morning session launched by our Chair, Susan Claris.  

Introduction from Living Streets' Chair of Trustees, Dame Jane Roberts, followed by a video address from Minister for Roads and Local Transport, Guy Opperman MP

10:50am: Welcome to the region from Tom Hunt (Leader, Sheffield City Council) and Oliver Coppard, Mayor of South Yorkshire.  

11:10am: Comfort break 

11:20am: Morning panel: How can we overcome opposition and demonstrate the value of active travel projects? 

Against the backdrop of active travel’s current place in the political climate, this expert panel will ask how supportive campaigners or officials can overcome opposition and demonstrate the value of walking projects.  


  • Ed Clancy, Active Travel Commissioner, South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority 
  • Julia Crear, Head of Projects and Technical Services, Living Streets 
  • Cllr Mike Hakata, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Climate Action, Environment and Transport, Haringey Council 
  • Matt Higgins, Senior Transport Planner and Active Travel Lead for the North West and Yorkshire, Arup 
  • Cllr Christine Gilligan Kubo, Deputy Chair of the Transport, Regeneration and Climate Policy Committee, Sheffield City Council 
  • Kerry Perruzza, Strategic Transportation Manager, Doncaster Council 

12:30pm: break for lunch

Walkshops and workshops

1:15pm: Delegates will have a choice of walks, a workshop in the venue or two online workshops to join.

For those joining in person and wanting to go on a walk, please assemble punctually outside the venue and join the group corresponding to the number listed below. Look out for the walk leader holding up the walk number of your choice. 

You may join your choice of walkshop, but if groups become too large we may ask people to join a different walk.  

Online delegates will be able to select to join a ‘breakout room’ for their choice of workshop. 

This session will finish  by 2:15pm to allow a short break before the final plenary. 


Overview: The Blue Loop is a much-loved waterside walk that leaves Sheffield City Centre along the River Don and returns along the Sheffield and Tinsley Canal Path. The Don was once a polluted river at the heart of Sheffield’s industry.

We will explore the inspirational Five Weirs Walk project that restored and made the river and its wildlife accessible to local people. We will also look at the role that the Don Valley plays as a major transport link, including new sustainable travel plans under the ‘Connecting Sheffield’ scheme.

We will discuss the way in which routes are classified as for ‘leisure’ or ‘transport’ and the consequences this has for routes and the people who use them. We will finish by walking through Victoria Quays, a redeveloped canal basin that is now a thriving area for business and culture. 

Length: Join us for a taster of this loop as we walk 1.5 miles out of the total 8 mile route. 

Terrain: A mostly flat route. Some surfaces are uneven, and there is a cobbled ramp. The canal path is adjacent to water. 

Led by Living Streets 

Overview: Once the beating heart of industry, Kelham Island is one of Sheffield’s oldest manufacturing sites. After decades of industrial decline, Kelham and wider Neepsend area has reinvented itself as one of Timeout’s 51 coolest neighbourhoods in the world and one of the Sunday Times best places to live in the UK. 

This walk aims to showcase one of Kelham’s newer but established neighbourhoods and a modern approach to street design. The route also skirts the River Don and allows attendees to explore part of Sheffield’s Grey to Green scheme.    

Grey to Green 2 completed in 2022 has transformed an uninspiring through road into an oasis of calm in the urban landscape. Grey to Green boasts high quality walking and cycling facilities, rich biodiverse planting and improved surface water management. It also hosts events such as Sheffield’s Pollen market. The adjoining Castlegate site is to be transformed into a greenspace with potential to host a broader range of events.      

Length: 2 miles (pace will be brisk) 

Terrain: Route should be wheelchair accessible. 

Led by Sheffield City Council 

Overview: Sheffield is continually reinventing itself by reimagining and repurposing its city centre spaces. Thanks, in part, to the completion of the inner relief roads, it has been possible to divert significant volumes of traffic out of the city centre and create a vastly improved public realm that makes the city more welcoming for people, and enables more walking, wheeling and cycling.  

Many of the city’s best loved public spaces benefitted from the £130m Heart of the City developments between 2004 and 2016 but new traffic-free spaces continue to be created through a range of funding opportunities. This walk demonstrates a small number of schemes that have transformed the public realm by repurposing former highway space. 

In 2020, the eastern section of highway in Fitzalan Square was repurposed as a new wide, open and useable pedestrian space.  Following the demolition of a row of shops on Arundel Gate, Esperanto Place has also been opened to creating an improved link to the city centre. 

Length: 1.5 miles 

Terrain: There are steep steps between Esperanto Pl and Arundel Gate but it may be possible to bypass this route if required. 

Led by Sheffield City Council 



Overview: Explore an area of Sheffield steeped in Brutalist heritage, regeneration, and historic significance. Led by South Yorkshire’s Lead Health Advocate to the Active Travel Commissioner, join us on a journey through the history of public health, touching on the benefits of walking, social prescribing, and clean air on one Sheffield’s seven hills.   

Our walkshop passes Park Hill, a landmark on the Sheffield skyline for over 60 years. The first building to use external access decks, known as Streets in the Sky, it was awarded Grade II* listing in 1998. A regeneration scheme continues today. Over the decades the building has also featured in film, TV, music, art, and on stage.  
It climbs to Norfolk Park and the Grade II listed Cholera Monument Grounds, within Historic England's 'Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest.' Take in expansive views of the city, at the nationally significant Cholera Monument that memorialises the Sheffield citizens who died during the cholera outbreak of 1832. 

Length: 1.7 miles 

Terrain: Steep incline/decline, cobbled and uneven surfaces, wheelchair accessible 

Led by Dr Jo Maher on behalf of South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority 

Overview: Join Wheels for Wellbeing Campaigns and Policy Officer Kate Ball for a tour and talk covering research, evidence, lived experience and good practice design for creating accessible public spaces. Discuss the barriers affecting Disabled people’s access to active travel and public transport, and how these barriers can be removed to create equitable mobility options for everyone.

Kate will be leading the workshop from her active manual wheelchair with (unpowered) Freewheel attachment. The route is likely to be challenging for many disabled people. Please ask if you would like support to join this group. 

Length: 1.1 miles 

Terrain: The route is step free but does include some significant gradients (up, down and some significant crossfalls) and areas of uneven surfacing including tram tracks, poorly laid paving and a short section of setts. 

Led by Wheels for Wellbeing 

Overview: Walking and using natural indicators to learn about air pollution. This route will take in Arundel Gate, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield Train Station and Umpire Theatre. 

Maxwell A. Ayamba BEM is the Founder/CEO of the Sheffield Environment Movement (SEM). Jenson Grant works with SEM using the Imperial College’s Explore Nature (OPAL) citizen science project as a community education programme aimed at empowering people to use natural indicators to identify - and speak out about - poor air quality in their communities. Join this walk to learn how to do this for yourself using natural indicators in your surroundings

Led by Sheffield Environment Movement 

In venue

The in-venue workshop will be held in the Grand Central room 

Junctions that widen at the mouth, also known as flared junction, can cause problems for pedestrians. So, why aren't flared junctions being narrowed and what can campaigners do about it? 

During the interactive workshop, you will help identify what the main barriers to narrowing flared junctions in our cities are. And consider how we can make junctions safer, with a focus on the walk to school. Come and share your expertise and ideas! 

We also want to hear about creative solutions to the problem.  

The goal of the workshop is to develop a strategy on junctions campaigners to take forward in the next year. 

Led by Living Streets Sheffield South West Local Group


Recent research from Living Streets on inclusive design at bus stops and continuous footways shows how infrastructure works depends on the circumstances as well as the design itself.

In this workshop we’ll cover the key findings of the project and discuss the policy implications if there is no design ‘silver bullet’. What do we need to change and how? 

Led by Dr Rachel Lee and Robert Weetman, Living Streets 

The current political landscape highlights that engagement is critical to ensuring infrastructure meets the needs of communities.

We join with community coordinators and our Living Streets Engagement Manager to identify approaches that work when engaging with underrepresented groups. We ask what to do when it goes wrong and how to get it right to create safer, healthier, and attractive streets across all towns, cities and neighbourhoods.   

Led by Aisha Hannibal, Living Streets; Sylvie Belbouab, Manor Park Living Streets Group; Bolaji Ogunsola, Dagenham Over 65s Living Streets Group; and Yashmin Harun, Chair of Muslimah Sports Association 

afternoon session

2:30pm: In-person attendees will return to the Ballroom for the final plenary session. Online attendees will re-join the main session when their breakout rooms close. 

Our Chair Susan Claris will introduce the afternoon and our afternoon keynote speaker, Vishaan Chakrabarti, Founder and Creative Director, Practice for Architecture and Urbanism, who will join us ‘live from New York’ to share his insights on redesigning transport for equity and inclusion followed by a brief Q&A. 

2:50pm: Afternoon panel: How can we realise the value of walking through the planning system? Building sustainability and accessibility into new developments and integrating public transport. 

Both Labour and the Conservatives have promised massive housebuilding programmes should they win the next General Election. This panel explores how we can ensure large-scale development helps us reach key targets in walking and sustainable transport more broadly.  


  • Mark Corbin, Director of Network Resilience, Transport for West Midlands 
  • Sara Dilmamode, BAME Planners Network and Director, Plan In 
  • Graham Grant, Director of Planning and Development, Active Travel England
  • Prof Anna Lawson, Leeds University  
  • William Stewart, Director of Investment, Climate Change and Planning, Sheffield City Council 

4pm: Closing address - Susan Claris and Dame Jane Roberts will summarise key insights and takeaways from the day, leaving attendees ready to make meaningful improvements for walking across the UK. 

4:15pm: Summit closes

Our speakers


Susan Claris

Susan Claris

Active Travel Transport Planner & Vice President, Living Streets

Susan is a transport planner and anthropologist with a particular interest in how walkability creates more liveable, vibrant, safe, inclusive and healthy streets and communities. She is Vice President of Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking, a Parish Councillor for the village of Sandgate in Kent and Deputy Chair of Cycle Shepway. Susan worked for Arup for 30 years and prior to this for the Department of Transport. 


Vishaan Chakrabarti

Vishaan Chakrabarti

Founder & Creative Director, Practice for Architecture & Urbanism

With over thirty years of proven experience authoring and implementing visionary urban architecture, Vishaan Chakrabarti leads PAU’s growing global portfolio of cultural, institutional, and public projects. Check out Vishaan’s Ted Talk

Oliver Coppard

Oliver Coppard

Mayor of South Yorkshire

Oliver has been South Yorkshire's Mayor since May 2022. He was elected with 71% of the vote.

As Mayor, his stated priorities are improving public transport, building a bigger, better economy, reducing health inequalities and accelerating progress to net zero.

He leads the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, and through the MCA works with the local Council leaders of Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield, the government, as well as private sector partners, the third sector and other, significant stakeholders from across South Yorkshire.

He wants politics to be more accountable and transparent, as well as more collaborative with local communities; doing politics with people, not to people.

He's available for public questions through his monthly 'Call Coppard' radio phone-in on Radio Sheffield, and his regular public 'Question Times' where he answers questions directly from the people of South Yorkshire.

He’s also created South Yorkshire’s first Citizens' Assembly; a new way of doing politics, bringing together a demographically representative group of people from across South Yorkshire, to help make decisions about how we get to net zero.

Guy Opperman MP headshot

Guy Opperman MP

Minister for Roads and Local Transport at the Department for Transport

Dame Jane Roberts headshot

Dame Jane Roberts

Chair of Trustees, Living Streets

Jane is a Research Fellow in Public Leadership at The Open University Business School and a member of the Remuneration Board of the Welsh Assembly. She was previously a councillor for 16 years at the London Borough of Camden, and Leader of the Council from 2000 to 2005.

Professionally, Jane is a medical doctor and an Honorary Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist with experience of senior healthcare management in the NHS. 

Jane has published a number of academic articles in paediatrics, psychiatry and politics. She co-edited the book 'The Politics of Attachment' and is the author of 'Losing Political Office’. 


Headshot Ed Clancy

Ed Clancy OBE

South Yorkshire Active Travel Commissioner

Ed Clancy OBE is the most successful Team Pursuit cyclist in history, having won gold with Team GB at three successive Olympics. 

Ed has also collected World and European titles in the Team Pursuit and omnium. 

Ed was born in Barnsley and grew up in Yorkshire. Since retirement from Team GB he has worked with British Cycling, British Triathlon, Pursuit Line, the Clancy Briggs Cycling Academy, and Cycle Accident Management Services. 

In February 2023, Ed became Active Travel Commissioner for South Yorkshire.  

Headshot of Mark Corbin

Mark Corbin

Director of Network Resilience, Transport for West Midlands

Mark Corbin has over 25 years’ experience working in the Automotive and Highways sectors.

He is the Director of Network Resilience at Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), and chair of the Adept National Traffic Managers Forum. He leads a team within TfWM collaborating and working with multiple organisations including the seven local authorities in the West Midlands, Department for Transport, National Highways, HS2, Network Rail and others keeping residents, businesses and visitors informed of transport disruption helping them to plan journeys and keep moving as well.

He is recognised nationally by his colleagues as an innovator and a genuine collaborator, seeking to make things happen with a holistic approach.  

Julia Crear headshot

Julia Crear

Head of Projects and Technical Services, Living Streets

Julia provides a breadth of technical experience including the original development of Living Streets community and school engagement methodology.

Since 2005 Julia has held numerous roles within the charity to support and promote our charitable aims. She and her team work in England, Scotland and Wales engaging with local government, private, sector, communities, schools and workplaces on their priorities for walking and improving the built environment.

Sara Dilmamode

Sara Dilmamode

BAME Planners Network & Director, Plan In

Plan In focusses on capacity building and improvement projects in the planning sector. Sara was a founding steering group member of the BAME Planners Network.

Mark Higgins headshot

Matt Higgins

Senior Transport Planner and Active Travel Lead for the North West and Yorkshire, Arup

Matt has a wealth of experience developing policy and delivering projects across the public and private sector, with experience working at Transport for London, the Department for Transport and Arup.

Cllr Christine headshot

Councillor Christine Gilligan Kubo

Deputy Chair of the Transport, Regeneration and Climate Policy Committee, Sheffield City Council

Green Party Councillor, Hillsborough ward, Sheffield, and Deputy Chair of the Transport, Regeneration and Climate Committee. A keen walker wanting to promote the great opportunities for walking in Sheffield.

Headshot of Graham Grant

Graham Grant

Director of Planning and Development, Active Travel England 

Formerly Assistant Director for Transport at Newcastle City Council, Graham has 15 years’ experience working in local and regional government. He led a team of more than 200 people and was responsible for all aspects of transport as the lead for the highway authority. This included development, design, and implementation of both policy and projects as well as overseeing teams that were statutory consultees in the planning process.


Kerry Perruzza

Strategic Transportation Manager, Doncaster Council

Accomplished Transport Planner with a passion for achieving place transformation and health outcomes through the sustainable transport agenda. Delivering on an ambitious plan to create a better connected and safer network of walking and cycling routes in Doncaster so that residents are benefiting from having greater choice over how they travel.

Wil Stewart headshot

Wil Stewart

Director of Investment, Climate Change and Planning, Sheffield City Council

Wil Stewart is an urban development professional with 20 years’ experience in the regeneration, development, planning and property fields. He has worked across the public, private and third sectors in a range of strategic development and delivery roles, including leading for the Greater London Authority on strategic land and investment projects, consulting for a leading multidisciplinary property company and working on local regeneration projects in inner urban neighbourhoods. 

Wil currently works as Director of Investment, Climate Change and Planning at Sheffield City Council and is passionate about creating great places, promoting climate sustainability and supporting Sheffield’s communities to thrive in their city.

Sheffield City Council logo


We thank Sheffield City Council and South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority for hosting the 2024 UK Walking Summit.

South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority logo


The 2024 UK Walking Summit is generously sponsored by Arup and Tracsis

Arup logo

Dedicated to sustainable development, Arup is a collective of 18,500 designers, advisors and experts working across 140 countries. Founded to be both humane and excellent, we collaborate with our clients and partners using imagination, technology and rigour to shape a better world. Arup have been longstanding supporters of the Living Streets Summit and we're delighted to have them support us again this year. 

tracsis logo

Tracsis is a leading provider of software, hardware, data analytics/GIS and services for the rail, traffic data and wider transport industries. Tracsis’ purpose is to empower the world to move freely, safely and sustainably.