Making it Easier for People to Walk and Cycle – Innovations in Approach: TRANSPORT Smart Class, Midlands 2022 Retrospective


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Clare Maltby, Sustrans’ England Director for the Midlands and East, joined us at TRANSPORT Smart Class, Midlands 2022 to discuss the ways in which Sustrans is making it easier for people to walk and cycle.

Two strategic priorities for Sustrans are Paths for Everyone – “A UK-wide network of traffic-free paths for everyone, connecting cities, towns and countryside, loved by the communities they serve” – and Liveable Cities & Towns for Everyone – “Places that connect us to each other and what we need, and where everyone can thrive without having to use a car”.

Highlighting how some of the biggest challenges to urban leaders (e.g. catastrophic climate change, public health & inactivity, social isolation & loneliness, illegal levels of air pollution, road danger and injury, and growing inequality) are connected to the way we travel, Clare went on to explain how Sustrans is using interactive engagement tools and mapping, GIS data and online surveys, and storymapping to deliver these programmes. “Sustrans”, says Clare, “has moved from having a GIS team to becoming an organisation that uses GIS” and that “has transformed our work”.

However, although Sustrans’ Innovations in Approach includes technological aspects, like greater use of GIS in their network planning and engagement work, innovations in design and engagement are also a key focus: “It is vital to take communities with us in tackling the challenges of transport and in achieving liveable cities and towns. Our collaborative design approaches aim to transform urban design by working with communities, raising ambition and amplifying voices”. Clare also summed this up perfectly in her post-event commentary: “For us, digital engagement is a tool rather than an approach. Early and meaningful engagement is going to be vital as cities introduce transformative change through Mini Hollands and liveable neighbourhoods”.

If you meet our regular delegate qualification criteria but were unable to join us at Nottingham Council House for the live in-person event on February 24th, CLICK HERE and complete the short “Download form” (located at the bottom of the post) to receive a unique link enabling free access to the presentation video recordings and slides (including the film footage and slides from Clare’s initial presentation).

Those qualifying to receive the rich content from these presentations include commissioning, procurement, trialling and partnering leads, senior influencers, strategic decision makers and planners from: local authorities (e.g. city, borough, metropolitan, district and county councils); public and private transport operators; regional transport partnerships, sub-regional transport bodies, combined authorities, integrated transport authorities and passenger transport executives; highways authorities and road operators; government and supporting national transport agencies; fleet operators, vehicle manufacturers, parking operators, prime contractors etc.

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TRANSPORT Smart Class, Midlands 2022

On 24th February 2022 we will be casting a spotlight over Central England, hosting our speakers discussions on how the latest digital innovations can help overcome the transport and mobility challenges faced by the burgeoning city-regions of the West and East Midlands, and beyond.


   Nottingham, UK

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