Living Streets’ Walking Connects project works in partnership with older adults to increase wellbeing through walking.
We know that walking for everyday journeys, pleasure and health helps to keep people connected, increases independence, reduces isolation and benefits wellbeing. Despite this, too many people in later life face barriers to everyday walking.
Many people we work with have told us they were unable to walk safely and confidently because of the poor condition of local streets, inadequate crossings, and lack of amenities like benches and handrails. People are often unsure about who to speak with and how to make sure action is taken.
Living Streets Scotland and Walking Connects participants have produced the Guide to Getting Better Streets and Pavements, which offers advice on who to contact to raise an issue or report a fault, and information about how your local streets and spaces are maintained. There are useful numbers to help you contact the right team at your council, and guidance about how to get your local councillors involved when you need additional help. There are also templates to make it easier to record the actions you’ve taken so you have a handy record. We’ve also included some examples of successful actions taken by Walking Connects participants that show it is possible to get things done with a bit of perseverance.
The Guide can be used by individuals, groups and professionals supporting older people at day services and supported accommodation.
Sometimes, all it takes is a phone call and the issues (s) are added to the routine maintenance list of your local authority team. Other times, things can be a little more complicated. The Guide outlines what you can do and provides some “top tips” for getting things done.
We have also created an Action Plan which provides some key questions to help you identify the most pressing issues and next steps.
Our Case Studies give a summary of project work in Edinburgh, Airdrie and Hawick with older residents campaigning for better streets.
Learning from Sutherland Street covers some key lessons from our work with a group of residents from a housing development in Edinburgh.
“The Guide to Getting Better Streets and Pavements is such a great resource for communities, beautifully put together.”
Get in touch
If you would like to know more about our work with communities, participate in our current projects, or would like some advice about walking and your local streets and spaces, please contact our Communities team on 0131 243 2649 or email firstname.lastname@example.org