A Sweco Point of View – Adopting a People First approach to street design


A Sweco Point of View – Adopting a People First approach to street design

9 July 2020

In response to COVID-19 local highway authorities are making tactical changes by closing streets to cars, implementing ‘pop-up’ cycle lanes and making footways wider to make our streets safer. Looking to the future, we have an opportunity to inspire and instigate permanent change. As part of this forward thinking, our transport team is developing series of thought pieces to set out a Sweco Point of View and share some ideas.

The first thought piece, written by David Wildman, our Technical Director for Local Government Transport, explores the question ‘How comfortable are our High Streets’ and can be assessed here. 

“I found myself thinking these tactical changes to our street are a positive change and that a return to ‘normal’ where they are removed would be a backwards step - so I wanted to capture some thoughts and ideas on adopting a vision-led approach that puts people first to make our streets more comfortable and enjoyable by using interim changes that inspire longer-term change,” said David.

To help local authorities who are currently looking at such projects, the team has produced a 3D fly-through video showing what a High Street could look like with tactical changes, and created a People First Design document containing examples, tools and guidance to help anyone involved in re-shaping our streets.

Sweco plans and designs the sustainable communities and cities of the future and we have extensive active travel and place-making experience across the UK and Europe. Our capability ranges from first principle policy and strategy advice, to undertaking feasibility studies, developing networks, designing new infrastructure and behaviour change campaigns that promote walking and cycling. If you would like to know more about what we do or how we could help, please get in touch with the team activetravel@sweco.co.uk