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Case Studies Engage · Inspire · Learn Knowledge Sharing News Places for Everyone

Effective Behaviour Change

Why is behaviour change important? When should we start considering behaviour change initiatives in our projects? And how exactly do we change behaviour?

Partners from local authorities and organisations around Scotland were invited to hear from a variety of guest speakers who shared their experience and expertise in influencing attitudes, habits and behaviour.

These sessions are part of the Places for Everyone event programme – Engage · Inspire · Learn

Why it’s important to influence public behaviour

First, we hear from Susanne Mueller, Communities Coordinator, Sustrans Scotland. Susanne highlights two key reasons why it’s important to influence public behaviour, in relation to Active Travel:

  1. Tackling the climate crisis
  2. Improving public health

Leven’s Behaviour Change Action Plan

Next, Susanne is joined by Daniel Prince, Infrastructure Coordinator, Sustrans Scotland and Enid Trevett, Community Engagement Officer, Coalfield Regeneration Trust. They share how the Coalfield Regeneration Trust has successfully co-developed Leven’s Behaviour Change Action Plan. This includes embedding the following values into the Behaviour Change Action Plan:

  1. Local first;
  2. Involve young people;
  3. Using what is already available; and
  4. The spirit of community needs to be fostered through the way actions are delivered.

Cycling Scotland’s Behaviour Change Initiatives

Last, we hear from Katharine Brough, Head of Behaviour Change at Cycling Scotland. Katharine speaks about the Cycling Friendly programme and how the award and grant funding programme works with organisations in a variety of workplace, education and community settings across Scotland. The programme aims to address barriers to cycling and increase access to bikes and cycling rates. The session also touches on the available tools for creating and sustaining behaviour change.

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Case Studies Engage · Inspire · Learn Knowledge Sharing News Places for Everyone

What does inclusivity look like in public space?

From engaging with the community to designing infrastructure, how can we ensure that public space is welcoming and safe for everyone?

Partners from local authorities and organisations around Scotland were invited to hear from a variety of guest speakers on how to create more inclusive spaces.

These sessions are part of the Places for Everyone event programme – Engage · Inspire · Learn

Design Justice Network

First, we hear from Leah Lockhart and Raina Armstrong, both members of the Design Justice Network. Design Justice is an exploration of how design might be led by marginalized communities, dismantle structural inequality and advance collective liberation. The Design Justice principles are a practical framework for planning work and decision making. Below, you can find the recording of the session and you can access additional resources here.

Queering Public Space

How do you make transport and public space more inclusive? Are there design aspects that can help to make these safer and more welcoming? Can the organisation of transport and public space help to desist hate crimes and gender-based violence? We hear from Dr Ammar Azzouz and Mei-Yee Man Oram of Arup, and Professor Pippa Catterall of University of Westminster. They draw upon recent research to explore these various pressing issues. Below, you can find the recording of the session and you can access the full Queering the Public Space report here.

Make Space for Girls

Last, we hear from Imogen Clark and Susannah Walker, co-founders of a new charity, Make Space for Girls. It was set up to campaign for parks and similar public spaces to be welcoming to girls and young women. Many parks, play equipment and public spaces are designed for the default male. Therefore, Make Space for Girls use research, consultation, engagement and education to drive an approach to the planning and development of parks and similar public spaces. Undoubtedly, these spaces should recognise the different needs of girls and young women and should find ways to meet those needs. Below, you can find the recording of the session.

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Case Studies Engage · Inspire · Learn Knowledge Sharing News Places for Everyone

Connecting Woodside

Completion of Phase 1 of Connecting Woodside, Glasgow

Malcolm Hall of Glasgow City Council, speaks about the first phase of the Connecting Woodside project, including a bit of background to the project, the impact of Covid-19, and where they’re at now.

Connecting Woodside, previously known as Woodside Mini-Holland, was funded by Sustrans Scotland through Places for Everyone, and Glasgow City Council. The Places for Everyone programme is funded by Transport Scotland.

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Spaces for People Research Resources

Spaces for People is the Scottish Government’s temporary active travel infrastructure programme, administered by Sustrans Scotland. It was launched in May 2020 as a response to the COVID-19 crisis. The programme allocated a total of £33m for active travel infrastructure measures. 34 partners, mostly local authorities, claimed funding through the programme for a range of projects that enabled safe active travel during the pandemic.

It enabled local authorities to install temporary measures to help people on foot, bike or wheels get about safely during the pandemic.

850 measures installed including:

  • 192 Footpath Widening stretching 41.4km
  • 27 Crossing Upgrades
  • 70 Cycle lane (Segregated) stretching 79.4km
  • 14 Cycle lane (Non-segregated) stretching 25.3km
  • 219 Cycle Parking
  • 56 Street Closure stretching 28.9km
  • 24 Street reduction (20mph) zones
  • 30 Speed reduction (Other) stretching 84.1km
  • 168 Vegetation cut back stretching 209km
  • 81 Other measures

Provided below are a range of reports and results from consultations in relation to Spaces for People. Resources are also provided in relation to the broader context of travel during the pandemic. Additional resources are also available on the relevant local authority website.

Consultations

Argyll & Bute – Spaces for People Engagement Surveys

Argyll & Bute Council asked for the views of the local community on Spaces for People proposals in seven town centres. The survey was open from Thursday 16 July to Sunday 26 July 2020. Reports are available for each of the individual towns included in the survey.

Argyll & Bute – Spaces for People Engagement Surveys

Scottish Borders CitizenSpace Survey responses

During June and July 2020 the public was asked to provide specific suggestions for temporary local schemes which would make it safer for people to walk or cycle for essential trips and exercise during COVID-19. An overview of all comments submitted is available through the below link.

Scottish Borders Citizen Space Survey responses

Commonplace

Visitors to the Commonplace website were able to create their own comments at a specific location, or agree with existing comments by clicking on the thumbs up button. For each comment, at each location, respondents choose from a multiple-choice list of issue(s) relating to social distancing, and a list of potential ways to improve this. They could also add extra information about issues, improvements or suggestions in the ‘other’ section. The platform was open for multiple council areas, and comments are available to review.

A report is also available on the Aberdeen responses. It includes three sections that explore the headline results of the Commonplace consultation for Aberdeen. The first section provides an overview of the whole consultation area. The second section provides a summary of results from three specific areas. The final section summarises who responded to the survey.

Commonplace Platform

Aberdeen City Council – Commonplace Report

East Lothian – Dunbar public engagement results

East Lothian Council conducted a survey to gain feedback on the proposed Spaces for People measures in Dunbar. The local community provided feedback online from the 30th November 2020 to 6th December 2020. This report presents the results and provides an insight into the community’s attitude to different interventions proposed in the local area.

East Lothian – Dunbar public engagement results

Attitudes

Edinburgh City Council

The City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) undertook a six-week public consultation entitled Retaining ‘Spaces for People’ Measures from the 22nd February until 5th April 2021. The survey is intended to give the Council a better understanding of how people feel about retaining the different spaces for people projects that have temporarily been introduced in Edinburgh, during the Covid-19 pandemic. Stantec was appointed to undertake the analysis of the open-ended questions in the public consultation survey. They had surveys on our online consultation hub aimed at residents, businesses and stakeholders. In addition to the consultation, Edinburgh City Council also conducted Market Research. The online questionnaire focused on;

  • how much people supported or opposed keeping the measures from strongly approve to strongly disapprove
  • what people felt were the main benefits or disadvantages of keeping the measures
  • which measures people would especially like to keep or remove.
  • what forms of transport they had used on streets with measures in place
  • how they had travelled around Edinburgh before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Spaces for People Consultation Analysis Open-Ended Questions Reporting

Summary of Business Responses to consultation on possible retention of Spaces for People (SfP) measures: Consultation Hub

Summary of stakeholder and community council responses to consultation on possible retention of Spaces for People measures

Response to individual and business surveys: headline data

City of Edinburgh Council Spaces for People Market Research

Disability Equality Scotland

Each week Disability Equality Scotland send out a poll question to their members on a topical issue. For the week beginning 14 August 2020, they asked two questions about the Spaces for People programme. The questions related to awareness of the measures and any impact on getting around.

Disability Equality Scotland

TACTRAN

TACTRAN is the statutory Regional Transport Partnership covering Angus, Dundee City, Perth & Kinross and Stirling. TACTRAN commissioned an attitudinal and behavioural survey to measure the effectiveness of the Spaces for People (SfP) programme in the TACTRAN region. It comprised of ten waves between August 2020 and April 2021. The survey provides in insight to:

  • The frequency participants travelled and mode used for nine different purposes both in the last seven days and hypothetically, if no COVID-19 restrictions were in place. It also included questions about expected future travel over the next month.
  • Participants’ attitude towards different modes of transport. If a respondent reported a negative feeling for a transport mode, they were asked to provide a reason for this opinion. Participants were also asked about their concerns in relation to people spreading the virus while using public or active travel respectively.
  • Participants’ were asked about their awareness of different Spaces for People measures implemented across the four local authority areas. If participants were aware of the measure, they were asked how positively or negatively they felt towards the measure, and the reason for this opinion.
  • Participants also shared information on the time spent walking or cycling for different purposes, such as leisure or commuting and how this had changed since March 2020.

TACTRAN Spaces for People Attitudinal Surveys Wave 10 Report

Traffic Data

Edinburgh City Council

Edinburgh City Council has presented data on cycle volume at locations that have Spaces for People measures.

Supporting Information for report on potential retention of Spaces for People measures: June 2021 Cycle counter data from Counters on Spaces for People routes

Scottish Borders Council Traffic Speed and Volume Dashboard

The Scottish Borders Council have provided a public dashboard presenting the outcome of speed surveys in multiple sites across the region. A comparison between three surveys is available, providing average speed and 85th percentile. The initial survey occurred before Spaces for People measures were introduced. The second and third surveys evaluate the Spaces for People measure of a 20mph speed limit.

Scottish Borders Council Traffic Speed and Volume Dashboard

Project Review

Glasgow City Council – Spaces for People Project Review & Assessment Report

Glasgow City Council has introduced a number of Spaces for People temporary measures as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic; including widened footways, pop-up cycle lanes and pedestrianisation zones using road space, giving priority to those walking, cycling, and wheeling. This report provides an overview of these measures, documents the analysis and evaluation of relevant data, sets out a process to enable an assessment of the individual measures and presents recommendations for either the removal or retention. Glasgow City Council commissioned Sweco to carry out this report.

Glasgow City Council – Spaces for People Project Review & Assessment Report

Travel during the Pandemic

NESTRANS

Nestrans have commissioned Systra to conduct monthly online travel behaviour and attitude surveys between July 2020 and March 2022. The reports provide insight as to how people in the North East of Scotland are traveling and how they expect to travel in the future, as well as finding out their current issues and concerns.

NESTRANS

Public Health Scotland

The report considers how COVID-19 is affecting the use of transport systems, the implications for population health and wellbeing and support for policy responses during the transition through and beyond COVID-19. While the report does not specifically review Spaces for People measures, it does provide it does give an understanding of transport use and attitudes during the pandemic, with particular focus on health and health inequalities. Both the briefing and full report is available below.

Transport use, health and health inequalities: The impact of measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 – Briefing

Transport use, health and health inequalities: The impact of measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 A rapid review of evidence in support of a health inequalities impact assessment

Transport Scotland

Transport Scotland is monitoring trends and attitudes to transport during the COVID-19 outbreak. Regular reports provides a snapshot of travel across main modes when compared to a pre-pandemic baseline. 

Transport Scotland also carried out a series of telephone surveys with a representative sample of over 16s across Scotland. The survey is aimed at gaining an understanding of the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting current travel behaviour and intentions for future travel in Scotland. As of October 2021, 20 waves of the survey have been undertaken, with the highlights of the report available below. The report provides an insight into:

  • The frequency participants travelled and mode used for ten different purposes. These questions were asked in the context of the last seven days and prior to the first lockdown.
  • Participants were asked about their concerns in relation to people spreading COVID-19 while using public or active travel respectively.
  • Participants were asked about their future expected travel behaviour
  • Participants were asked about their attitude to public transport, their compliance with travel guidance and the vaccination.

COVID-19 Transport Trend Data

COVID-19 Public Attitudes Survey Data

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Case Studies Engage · Inspire · Learn News Places for Everyone

Diving into Low Traffic Neighborhoods

As part of the Places for Everyone event programme – Engage · Inspire · Learn – partners from local authorities and organisations around Scotland were invited to hear from a variety of voices on the challanges of Low Traffic Neighborhoods.

Split into several sessions, we explored a range of topics from engagement and design to research and monitoring. All of the sessions were recorded and have been made available to view online.

Designing & budgeting for LTNs

Giulio Ferrini, Head of Built Environment at Sustrans London, shares the lessons learnt from a year of trial LTNs in London. Watch to learn more about designing successful LTNs and the costs involved.

Making the Case for LTNs

Will Wright, Evaluation Manager at Sustrans, talks through some the existing research on LTNs, Sustrans’ Introductory Design Guide and the importance of monitoring and evaluating interventions.

You can download Will’s slides here.

Pave the Way

Katie Pennick, Campaigns Lead and Caroline Stickland, Partnerships Lead at Transport for All, share more information about the Pave the Way report, which is the product of six months research into how disabled people have been impacted by LTNs.

You can download Katie and Caroline’s slides here.

The Importance of Engagement

Why do we want to engage? Who do we engage with? How do we minimise risk and maximise equity? Ben Addy, Head of Collaborative Design at Sustrans London, runs through the principles of why engagement is important and what meaningful engagement looks like.

Lessons Learnt: City of Edinburgh Council

We hear from Paul Matthews from AECOM, who shares some of the lessons they’ve learnt since implementing LTN interventions in Edinburgh.

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Case Studies Engineering News Places for Everyone

Inclusive Design Webinar Series

As part of our support for local authorities and other bodies to deliver high quality infrastructure that is accessible for all, Sustrans Scotland are hosting a series of online workshop on inclusive design. We have invited people with lived experience from around Scotland to help Sustrans and our partners understand how we can improve our designs and standards to increase accessibility for everyone.

The workshops are intended to be a safe space, where people can discuss the real life issues that they have faced and build working relationships with those designing walking, wheeling and cycling routes.

To ensure that sessions remain a safe space, attendance is limited, but you can request more details and information on future webinars by emailing PlacesForEveryone@sustrans.org.uk.

Session 1 – Inclusive Design

Spaces for People has enabled statutory bodies to implement temporary measures focused on protecting public health and supporting physical distancing.

Due to the nature of this programme, created as an emergency response to Covid-19, successful applicants were encouraged to implement the temporary infrastructure in a timely manner and provide visible improvements that had an immediate benefit. The fast-paced nature of the implementation process, meant that the opportunity for comprehensive community engagement, consultation and communication was limited. With the need for physical distancing during essential journeys still prominent, and no sign of this changing in the near-future, we need to ensure that this temporary infrastructure is designed in such a way that it is inclusive to all.

On Thursday 12th November we were joined by various local authorities, user groups and other stakeholders to discuss the topic of Inclusive Design. This workshop, co-hosted by SCOTS and Sustrans, was the first of the series, whereby delegates heard from individual users on their lived experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as Local Authorities regarding their inclusive design approaches. The format gave delegates the opportunity to meet each other and discuss learning points, improve shared understanding and knowledge, and liaise with transport professionals and users alike.

Three key themes were prominent throughout the workshop – Inclusive Engagement, Inclusive Communication, and how we evolve as this temporary infrastructure becomes longer-term.

Inclusive Engagement

Attendees agreed that during the engagement process, often the same voices are heard. It’s imperative that engagement reaches the unheard voices, providing equal opportunities for all to engage from the beginning and throughout the project lifespan. Other inclusive engagement suggestions included making use of British Sign Language during online engagement, and looking for alternatives to using maps and designs for people who are visually impaired.

Inclusive Communication

There needs to be a long-term change to how we communicate, thinking about how to inform everyone of changes. Perhaps this is an opportunity to update corporate communications strategies to be more inclusive. Frequent communication with access panels, QR codes and the use of digital technology to communicate were also suggestions given during this workshop.

Temporary Infrastructure in the longer-term

It was recognised by attendees that although the temporary interventions were implemented as an emergency response to Covid-19, these interventions are now longer-term, with an opportunity for all local authorities to consider this a learning process and adjust accordingly for the future.

Session 2 – Inclusive Communication

On Thursday 4th March we were joined again by various local authorities, user groups and other stakeholders, this time to discuss the topic of Inclusive Communication. In this workshop delegates heard from Hussein Patwa, who reminded delegates of the basics when it comes to communication – who, why, what, when, and where. We were joined by James Davidson, Communications and Research Co-ordinator at Disability Equality Scotland (DES) who shared insight into DES’ Inclusive Communication Hub and the Six Principles of Inclusive Communication.

Delegates then heard from individual users on their lived experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic and Aberdeen City Council shared their lessons learnt from their Spaces for People interventions. Again, the format gave delegates the opportunity to meet each other and discuss learning points, improve shared understanding and knowledge, and liaise with transport professionals and users alike.

This session highlighted key discussions around identifying quick wins, sharing lessons learnt, understanding the importance of working relationships, as well as inclusive engagement and consultation. This includes, but isn’t limited to:

Quick wins

  • Avoid jargon
  • Avoid information overload
  • Using alt text and explaining images
  • Using simple language
  • Suitable fonts, colours and contrasts
  • Shadowing people to understand their perspective

Lessons Learnt

  • Many maps and diagrams are not accessible
  • Don’t assume because you have communicated you have been understood
  • Consider the needs of people with neurodivergent conditions

Working Relationships

  • Working closely with access groups
  • Importance of collaboration with people with different communication support needs
  • Making the most of critical friends
  • Setting up advisory groups of people with disabilities linked to council departments

Engagement and Consultation

  • Engaging from the start of the process through as many means as possible
  • Engagement should be prepared well in advance for fast-delivered projects
  • Improved understanding of BSL communication for engagement
  • EqIAs should be participatory
  • If people aren’t at a consultation, perhaps it’s because they can’t access it
  • Use various channels to speak to as many people as possible

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How a road closure in Glasgow has made locals feel safer and more connected

Opening Kelvin Way to walking, cycling and wheeling has created opportunities for exercise, play and connection during the pandemic.

Kelvin Way has been opened to people on foot, bike and wheels during the pandemic.

In spring 2020, Glasgow City council launched its Spaces for People project in partnership with Sustrans Scotland.

The temporary changes across Glasgow support physical distancing and active travel during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Temporary cycle lanes have been constructed on a number of key routes throughout the city, to provide a safe lane for people cycling.

Pavements have also been widened to allow people space to physically distance in the city centre.

The most ambitious temporary intervention has seen the closure of Kelvin Way, stretching for over 500 meters through the middle of Kelvingrove Park.

Kelvin Way has been closed to traffic since the height of the lockdown. Vehicles can access the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, but the street remains an open space for walking and cycling, and the benefits it brings are welcomed by the local community.

The case for space on Kelvin Way


With traffic on the roads, residents from densely populated areas nearby struggled to keep a safe distance from other people and moving traffic.

By closing it to traffic, residents are able to physically distance whilst out for a walk, cycle or wheel.

During recurring periods of lockdown, the street provides vital space for people from separate households to meet for exercise and to stay connected.

Children walking, cycling or scooting along the Kelvin Way don’t have to worry about traffic, and have space to connect with others, play and exercise.

Access for Everyone


Kelvin Way is adjacent to the boundary of the Yorkhill and Kelvingrove Cycling Village, a community-led initiative which aims to create ‘the most accessible community in Scotland.’

Creating an active travel link along Kelvin Way is key to making the area accessible for all, not just those with cars.

Kelvin Way connects Yorkhill and Kelvingrove with the University, Hillhead primary School and other amenities. There is also a wide range of independent shops and cafes close to each end of the street.

It is an important active travel link for the residents of Yorkhill and Kelvingrove and the surrounding areas.

Children and parents on the school run don’t have to worry about traffic.

Safety in numbers


Before the closure, Kelvin Way was a busy thoroughfare for traffic to and from the West End. Pedestrians were forced onto uneven and poorly lit pavements, and it did not feel like a secure place to walk in the dark.

Having more people around has made the area feel safer, particularly for women and more vulnerable people.

As the nights draw in, Kelvin Way remains an attractive space for everyone to walk. The centre of the road is well-lit and pedestrians are no longer confined to the shadowy pavement.

Attractive by day and night

Some planters have been added to the street following the initial closure.

Wooden planters have been provided by Glasgow Wood Recycling and there are also distinctive black and white ZICLA planters, to make the area more amenable.

Cllr Anna Richardson, Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction said:

“These revisions proposed for Kelvin Way will provide a more sustainable long-term layout and ensure that those out walking, wheeling and cycling in this popular area continue to have the safer space to do so.

“As the Spaces for People programme develops further, we’ll be seeking to improve the appearance of temporary measures where possible, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the planters installed, further enhancing the popularity of this space.”

More information on City of Glasgow Council’s Spaces for People programme can be found here.

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Safe commuting in Edinburgh during Covid-19

A person cycles uphill, seperated from motor traffic by orange and white stripped cylinders. A blue car is to one side of the cyclist, keeping a safe distance.
Spaces for People measures on Crewe Road have made it easier and safer for people cycling to work at the Western Infirmary. Neil Hanna/Sustrans

Edinburgh has opened up active travel commutes for essential workers, helping to keep the city on the move during the Covid-19 Pandemic


The City of Edinburgh Council launched its £5 million Spaces for people project in partnership with Sustrans Scotland.

The temporary changes seen across Edinburgh have been put in place to support physical distancing and active travel during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Protected cycle lanes, funded through Spaces for People, have been introduced on routes to two hospitals within the city.

Streets for Everyone: Crewe Road, Edinburgh – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEd8gYbvvmc

Physical barriers have been added to pre-existing painted cycle lanes on Crewe Road South and Ferry Road to protect cyclists from vehicle traffic on the streets.

Similar protection has been introduced on Dalkeith Road to better enable cycling to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

Many Edinburgh residents don’t have access to a car, so creating safe cycling routes to hospitals has been crucial for providing access to hospitals for both service users and staff.

The importance of safe routes


Crewe Road connects North Edinburgh with the west end of the city centre. Protected cycle lanes run along the adjoining Ferry Road to provide a physically protected route for residents to access amenities and work in the west end.

As traffic gradually returned to the streets, it was necessary to provide protective options to allow people to continue cycling.

51% of people in Edinburgh are concerned about cycling safety. Providing simple interventions such as these traffic wands allows people to feel safer when using cycle lanes along the road.

Black and white stripped cylinders mounted in kerb-like bases separate motor traffic and a cycle lane on Lothian Road
Traffic wands are uses to create a temporary cycle lane and space for pedestrians on Lothian Road, Edinburgh. Neil Hanna/Sustrans.

In May, Cllr Lesley MacInnes said:

As offices and worksites begin to return, we will address arterial routes to support commuters.”

The safe routes along Ferry Road and Crewe Road have helped some people to cycle who didn’t feel confident to do so previously.

Cycling for Heroes


During the height of lockdown, key workers and other NHS staff were still travelling to work.

Helping key workers get to work during the pandemic has been a priority for Sustrans and our partners. We supported 100 free cycle hire scheme passes and 110 free 4-month passes for key workers. We also produced a map cycle offers and discounts available to all key workers (including NHS staff) across the UK.

A person unlocks a Transport for Edinburgh hire bike from a rack on Bristo Square.
Free cycle hire passes helped key workers stay on the move when other transport options were limited. John Linton/Sustrans.

The Bike Station launched its Hero Bikes scheme back in April, donating refurbished bikes to key workers.

Bridge 8 Hub/ Bikes for Refugees also provided free loans of bikes to key workers.

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The community-led transformation taking place in Dundee city centre

Once lined with parked cars and busy with through traffic, Union Street is now a spacious destination for foot and wheel. Paul Reid/Sustrans

The success of opening up Union Street in Dundee to walking, wheeling and cycling in the wake of Covid-19 has inspired the communities across the UK to reimagine their local spaces.

Planning out of a pandemic


Earlier this year, Dundee City Council launched its £2.46 million Spaces for People project in partnership with Sustrans Scotland.

As with all Spaces for People projects, temporary changes in Dundee are aimed at supporting physical distancing and active travel during the Covid-19 pandemic.

So far, sections of The Esplanade and Douglas Terrace have been closed to motor traffic to provide additional space for people to safely walk, wheel and cycle.

20mph speed restrictions have also been introduced in key locations throughout the city.

The most dramatic and celebrated temporary intervention thus far installed, however, is the opening of Union Street to people on foot, bikes and wheels.

The case for Union Street


Union Street is firmly in the heart of Dundee, and is host to an array of independent businesses and traders.

It is also a popular destination for people looking for something to eat or drink.

Union Street in Dundee is home to a range of independent businesses and would usually be bustling with people. Paul Reid/Sustrans

Prior to the current interventions, parked cars either side of heavy two-way traffic made Union Street a treacherous route to cycle, with limited space for people walking or wheeling to get around.

The combination of a predicted return to heavy footfall and existing narrow pavements prioritised Union Street as an essential location for the council’s Spaces for People measures.

An inspired space


Following discussions with local business owners, a comprehensive plan was drawn up to close Union street to non-essential traffic.

This would allow people to walk, wheel and cycle comfortably and safely, whilst still maintaining disabled, loading and emergency vehicle access.

These changes were initially achieved through road signage and temporary cone barriers. These were soon replaced with attractive wooden planters and outdoor seating.

As a final flourish to tie the changes together, an iconic colourful super graphic was installed on the road surface.

Planters, outdoor seating and vibrant creative design has trasnformed Union Street into an iconic destination. Paul Reid/Sustrans

Inspired by the layout and function of a pedestrian crossing, the primary intention of the new creative design is to raise driver awareness to the new priorities of the street.

Graphic Design graduate Callum Laird created the original designs for street graphic.

This was then translated into the real world by Scenic Deisgner Leila Kalbassi, with painting assistance provided by a team of recent graduates and volunteer residents.

Union Street prior to temporary Spaces for People changes (left) and after (right). Paul Reid/Sustrans

The new layout has proved broadly popular with residents, visitors and local businesses, so much so that the lifetime of the temporary changes has now been extended beyond the initial proposed end date of October.

Union Street will remain a walking, wheeling and cycling only zone through early 2021, with an option to further extend the changes.

Community co-design


Ensuring that local business owners were involved in the decision making process was a crucial part of making Union Street a success.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, online workshops were delivered through Dundee’s Service Design Academy.

This allowed key concerns such as maintaining access rights for traders and suppliers to be accounted for and factored in to the final designs.

By taking a co-design approach, the engagement undertaken was more than a consultation, and traders and residents were able to directly influence the outcome on the street.

The provision of outdoor seating areas to restaurants, bars and cafés, has been particularly beneficial in encouraging people to support local businesses whilst still maintaining a safe physically distance.

Businesses have been supported by being involved in the design process, with access rights for loading maintained and outdoor seating provided. Paul Reid/Sustrans

Beautification of the area through the installation of floral planters and street art only further creates a sense of place to attract locals and visitors to the area.

More information on Dundee City Council’s Spaces for People programme can be found here.

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Monitoring active travel infrastructure during Covid-19

Sustrans’ Martin Laban, Evaluation Manager for the Research and Monitoring Unit outlines the principles of monitoring and evaluation techniquesin relation to Spaces for People.

Dynamic engagement


Monitoring and evaluating the impact of Spaces for People projects is more important than ever before due to the limited opportunity for engagement on temporary emergency measures that are being introduced.

Sustrans offer a broad range of monitoring techniques in support of this to help assess how Spaces for People projects are delivering for communities in response to Covid-19.

In this knowledge sharing session, Sustrans Evaluation Manager, Research and Monitoring Unit, Martin Laban discusses the value of understanding the impact of temporary measures have had throughout the UK in helping to shape future permanent infrastructure.


Guidance on standard best practice for monitoring and evaluation can be found here.

Three strategic principles


When it comes to monitoring and evaluation, there are three main strategies that can be empoyed.

  • Process Evaluation – Attempt to understand why you may or may not have achieved your outcomes. Did it relate to the how it was delivered, factors beyond control of the project, or process and approach used?
  • Look – Employ visual monitoring techniques in order to see how where your project is and isn’t working (i.e. automatic counters, manual counts, video analysis of traffic speed, volume or ATC).
  • Listen – Engage meaningfully with communities and key stakeholders to understand public perception of temporary measures (i.e. GIS and survey tools). This has been successfully employed within Spaces for People through Commonplace and Space to Move tools.

Questions Answered


  • Why is monitoring and evaluation important?
  • What strategies are most effective for understanding Spaces for People impacts?
  • How can Sustrans help support local authorities monitor and evaluate their project delivery?
  • What has monitoring and evaluation of Spaces for People interventions actually shown us?

Note: the examples shown are in no way prescriptive and are for information only. Where specific products are shown in this document, this does not constitute Sustrans’ endorsement of that product.