Breakfast Briefing: Walking, Cycling, Public Realm - the State of the Art

Friday 18 September 2020 - 8:00 to 9:30

As part of the UDG and AoU joint Sympsosium on The Fifteen Minute City speakers from Transport for London, London Living Streets, Street Spirit Design and our own UDG Director review the recent U-turn in transport policy that now sees walking and cycling as a key political objective, the range of different measures that are being applied, and the lessons that have been learned, from design options for a wide range of settings, through to community involvement. This session celebrates the launch of the Footways Map, a growing national initiative to promote quiet and attractive walking routes in our towns and cities.

Chair + Welcome

Paul Reynolds  Urben, Director



Robert Huxford Urban Desing Group, Director

The ICE, UDG, PRIAN and TDAG have just issued a two page briefing sheet, Street Design Standards: Current and Withdrawn Practice which summarises in just two pages current and withdrawn street design standards. The briefing sheet stresses the utmost importance that local authorities, designers and engineers should base their work on current practice, and the risks of undertaking work based on withdrawn guidance, including breaches of statutory duties, breaches of codes of professional conduct, loss of professional indemnity insurance.

The Street Improvement Manual is a new initiative to create a 'sandbox' where engineers and designers can float radical and innovative ideas for improving streets.


David McKenna  Street Spirit Design

Improving the design of a high street is not a blank sheet of paper that so many guidance documents seem to suggest.   Dimensions are fixed, and were often determined decades or centuries ago to standard widths.  David McKenna will showcase different design options for a range of standard width streets, ranging from allowing traffic through, to prioritising people using “slow-street principles”.


David Harrison + Emma Griffin  London Living Streets

Footways is a new initiative, to create maps in our towns and cities of a network of quieter streets and hidden cut-throughs. The first map covers central London, with plans to extend this to outer London boroughs and beyond, following a very positive response from the local councils and Transport for London.

The map combines the knowledge of many contributors on their secret routes through central London, including surprising routes through arcades, mews, public gardens and more. Routes are on offer that connect the main stations with key shopping and working areas, as well as major and minor attractions.


Laura Georgescu + Gesine Junker  TfL Urban Design 

Over recent years Transport for London has been in the vanguard of the movement to improve streets and public realm, and the pioneering StreetSpace guidance, supporting London in enabling walking and cycling, school streets, healthy streets, low traffic neighbourhoods, kerbside management and much more.

Q & A


00:00:00 Introduction from the Chair, Paul Reynolds  Director of Urben Studio
00:02:12 Robert Huxford  Director, Urban Design Group. Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers Municipal Expert Panel. The relevance and influence of Street Design Standards and their impact on many aspects of our lives and living spaces. The Street Improvement Manual.
00:16:10 David McKenna  Independent Consultant at Street Spirit Design. Chartered Landscape Architect and Chartered Engineer. Member of the Landscape Institute Technical Committee where he leads the Working Group on Inclusive Design. Creating innovative, well designed and managed spaces for both people and vehicles.
00:27:28 Questions and discussion
00:00:00 Introduction from the Chair, Paul Reynolds  Director of Urben Studio
00:00:17 David Harrison  London Living Streets: A history of walking routes in central London and The Central London Footways Map
00:11:14 Emma Griffin  London Living Streets: 'Footways', a network of quiet and interesting streets for walking in central London
00:15:55 Gesine Junker  TfL Principal Urban Design: The Covid 19 response
00:19:00 Laura Georgescu TfL Urban Design Advisor: 'Streetspace' for London
00:32:04 Gesine Junker  TfL Principal Urban Design: Difficulties encountered and priorities.
00:38:00 Questions and discussion

This event is part of the UDG and AoU joint symposium on The Fifteen Minute City


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