Local infrastructural provisions to help people walk and cycle whilst social distancing are popping up across the UK.
Researcher Laurence Heijbroek explores what long-term impact these measures - introduced to keep people apart - will have on bringing people together in the future.
The Living Streets agenda offers not only a message of hope from a health, environmental, and economic perspective, but it promises long-term social benefits.
Present political appetite for new walking and cycling infrastructure presents a concrete opportunity to implement this agenda, override perpetuating urban systems of disconnection, and permanently adapt cities to cater first and foremost for people.
But the extent to which social benefits are experienced depends on how far and wide measures are introduced.
After prolonged social distancing, improving community connectedness will be absolutely necessary to help repair the social fabric, to support the lonely and socially isolated, and to ensure that the feelings of solidarity, respect, and kindness that at present bind us are carried through into a future, more united, resilient, and connected society.
It is my hope that local authorities and planners up and down the country are provided with the tools and funding to fully take this opportunity to transform the urban realm not just for lockdown but for good.
How GM Walking is helping residents in Greater Manchester walk more during lockdown.
The increase in walking & cycling and the need to physically distance has seen streets re-imagined.