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:
Tackling the climate crisis
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:
Involve young people;
Using what is already available; and
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Avoid information overload
Using alt text and explaining images
Using simple language
Suitable fonts, colours and contrasts
Shadowing people to understand their perspective
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 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
Using analyses of geographical data Sustrans are supporting pavement widening measures to give people more space for walking and wheeling throughout and beyond the Covid-19 pandemic.
Responding to a crisis
With the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, the scarce amount of space allotted to people across Scotland’s towns and cities is firmly in the forefront.
Attempting to maintain a two-metre physical distance from other pavement users whilst navigating by foot or wheel can be a nuisance at the best of times and an impossibility at others.
In aid of this, Sustrans’ Spaces for People programme, funded by the Scottish Government, has distributed almost £40 million to local authorities to provide temporary infrastructure to help people walk, wheel and cycle.
With a common bid by local authorities’ being to widen public footways, Sustrans have set to calculate and map pavement widths in towns and cities through Scotland to help identify potential crowding pinch points and support physical distancing.
Early mapping in Edinburgh
In 2010, City of Edinburgh Council began work on developing an Active Travel Action Plan, a long-term city-wide project to improve the accessibility and safety of walking, cycling and wheeling infrastructure.
One of the ways Sustrans has been assisting the council with this ambitious project is by undertaking the painstaking work of mapping individual pavement widths throughout the city.
With physical distancing guidelines now in effect as a matter of public health, the construction of a working pavement width database for the whole of Scotland has taken on a new urgency.
Once lockdown was announced, Sustrans accelerated work on providing City of Edinburgh Council with a comprehensive dataset of pavement widths.
This was achieved by adapting code developed for New York to complement Ordinance Survey data.
From this initial success, Sustrans has been able to develop further datasets for Glasgow, East Lothian, Dundee, East Ayrshire and South Ayrshire, with the offer being extended to any other local authorities who would find such data useful.
The coding process
Infrastructure Coordinator for Sustrans Alasdair Anderson was a key player in developing the mapping datasets. As lead on the project, he explains:
“The Python code used to do the analysis utilised Ordinance Survey’s most detailed Mastermap Topograpic Area mapping.
This identifies pavements and paths within a given local authority and accomplishes the surprisingly difficult task of measuring the width of an irregularly shaped object by using a tailored algorithm.
By first calculating the centreline for each of the thousands of bits of pavement that have already been identified, the algorithm then measures the distance back from individual pavement centre point to the pavement edge to calculate the width.
Finally, the results are compiled into a GIS dataset which can be analysed statistically or displayed on a map”.
An immediate benefit of this data is that it can be used to help people navigate routes which only follow wider pavements.
For example, Sustrans officers have been looking to use pavement widths data to enable them to plan led walks with volunteers or school children once lockdown restrictions are sufficiently eased.
The larger impact, however, of these mapping capabilities is apparent when the data is combined with other information in order to identify the narrowest or busiest streets in order to prioritise them for widening interventions.
While the £38.97 million available under the Spaces for People fund is a lot of money, it is not nearly enough to widen every pavement in Scotland. As such, working out how to prioritise pavement widening initiatives becomes crucial.
Pavement distancing description
3.8 to 4.7m
2.7 to 3.8m
2 to 2.7m
1.5 to 2m
Less than minimum design guidance
Total ‘difficult’ or narrower
Table demonstrating the widths of pavements throughout Edinburgh as they relate to physical distancing health guidelines.
Applications in Dundee
One of the first practical applications of Sustrans’ pavement mapping capabilities took place in Dundee city centre.
A dataset of shops and services in Dundee was first created. This was then overlaid with the footway width dataset Sustrans had created to help identify narrow pavements where high footfall was likely to occur. From this, a unique set of Covid-19 emergency proposals for shopping streets in Dundee was able to be generated.
Using these emergency proposals, Sustrans was then able to highlight particular areas where it would be most crucial to prioritise pavement widening interventions.
Looking beyond the Covid-19 pandemic, the datasets Sustrans has created provide local authorities with an invaluable resource with which to maximise the benefit of footway renewal programmes.
Initial progress can be made by first focussing on pavements which fall short of 1.5m, normally considered to be the minimum.
Interventions in areas such as these would improve accessibility for those with additional mobility support needs immensely, such as those manoeuvring a wheelchair or a pram.
Recent adaptations in the code used to calculate pavement widths have now enabled Sustrans to calculate the widths of entire streets.
This new capability could be instrumental in helping Scottish local authorities understand where it would be most beneficial to deliver cycling infrastructure in the future.
Take a look at some of the Scottish towns and cities Sustrans has created GIS pavement width maps for in the image gallery below.
This piece is part of a series on the South City Way Small Grants Fund. This fund was created to inspire community groups and charities to design artworks and gathering places which encourage walking and cycling. Find out more about the South City Way.
Sustrans’ South City Way Small Grants Fund has helped to support a Glasgow community association brighten its youth space with a new and iconic community mural.
Youth Workers at the charity had been looking for a bold and creative way to make their organisation a destination point, in a way that also included the local community.
Their application to the South City Way Small Grants Fund proposed installing an artwork designed by young people in the area on at the front of their building.
Created to inspire local community and charity groups to propose new gathering places and artworks along Glasgow’s South City Way, the Small Grants Fund offered these groups the chance to apply for a share of over £100,000 to fund their projects.
The funding inspired local young people to tour the murals and street art around Glasgow in order to develop their own ideas. This took them along cycle paths and into unfamiliar parts of the city that they wouldn’t usually see.
The group then put their designs together for the new collective artwork on Abbotsford Place. A local artist was recruited to help with this process as well as to assist with spraying the final piece on the wall.
The completed piece sees the community group’s name Crossroads and Youth Community Association spread across the wall against the backdrop of a pastoral meadow. A quote from the group’s founder, Geoff Shaw, is also included, and reads: “Everyone has the right to live gloriously!”
They also installed planters and bike racks at the front of the centre.
Crossroads and Youth Community Association youth worker Nick Miller, saw The Barn project through to completion from the start.
‘Now you’re just drawn to the building, and through that we’ve had people dropping in and grabbing teas and coffees. We’ve had people taking photographs of stuff, and just leaving a couple of pounds donation. So hopefully it just draws more people to the building’.
Nick Miller, Youth Worker, Crossroads Youth and Community Association
Sustrans Officer Michael Melton, is delighted with the enrichment of the South City Way.
“The Barn stands out now as a safe and creative hub for young people to gather. The mural is a really valuable addition to the South City Way route and a great example of exactly what the Small Grants Fund is for”.
The Strathmore Cycle Network is an ambitious plan by three
Community Development Trusts to create a cycle network between Alyth,
Blairgowrie & Rattray, and Coupar Angus.
The idea of a traffic free path from Blairgowrie to Coupar Angus, giving locals an alternative to driving or using local bus services, was suggested at a Climate Café event in 2016. This spurred Alyth, Blairgowrie & Rattray, and Coupar Angus into applying for support from Sustrans’s Places for Everyone programme and regional transport partnership Tactran, with plans to deliver a phased network of walking and cycling routes between the three towns.
A Phased Approach
The first phase of the Strathmore Cycle Network was successful thanks to good engagement with local landowners. Working with the Development Trusts and with support from consultants Walking the Talk, they were able to apply to the Improving Public Access Fund, securing £200,000 for the construction of the first 2.5km of path link Alyth and Rattray.
The success of the plans boosted the community’s enthusiasm
for the project, and led to the development of phase 2; Blairgowrie to Coupar
Angus. The commitment of the volunteers in delivering the first phase impressed
Perth and Kinross Council and led to £100,000 funding contribution.
Having a supportive member of the Perth & Kinross’ roads team on the steering group also proved invaluable. The officer was able to positively feedback to other officers in the Council, and offer support and expertise to the Development Trusts to ensure the project progresses smoothly.
Support from the Sustrans Places for Everyone programme and
Perth & Kinross Council allowed the development trust to appoint the Scottish
Community Development Centre to engage the local community. The initial route
chosen by the Trusts was locally unpopular but by involving a neutral third
party, the Trust were able to make sure there was an objective engagement
The engagement sessions worked well; two main route options
emerged. Further discussion is on-going in an attempt to avoid a steep
gradient, with the Trusts committed to work with the community and Sustrans to
identify the best option. As there has been such positive public involvement so
far, there is a strong willingness to find a solution and create this key part
of the network
The benefits of a Local Authority supporting in a community-led
infrastructure project can be considerable. Many groups have huge amounts of
enthusiasm and local knowledge to take projects
such as the Strathmore Cycle Network forward.
Development Trusts can be well placed to lead walking,
cycling and wheeling projects. They are embedded in the community and often
have experience of handling grant funding, working with elected members, and
Having multiple partners involved can open up
additional funding potential. Each of the three Trusts has received grant
funding for support activities, including staff time. This was a very
deliberate move by the Trusts, and is a reflection of the strong working
relationships that they have built. The model used by the three trusts could benefit
many rural or sub-urban communities with poor connectivity.
Inspired by residents’ reported barriers to walking and cycling, Clydebank Housing Association has been working to create a new accessible path between the Centre81 community centre and the Forth & Clyde Canal.
Working in partnership with Sustrans Scotland, Clydebank
Housing Association (CHA) established a steering group with local residents to
work out ways to encourage people to walk and cycle for more of their every-day
Residents suggested that creating an accessible route from Centre81, to the nearby canal towpath – part of National Cycle Network Route 754 – would help more people access the canal as well as local shops, bus links and other neighbourhoods along the canal.
Using local contacts and knowledge
CHA took on the task of working with the community to identify how best to design this path.
CHA made full use of its existing connections with groups throughout Clydebank. ISARO Social Integration Network – which works to promote integration and understanding amongst communities – provided support for the consultation, along with local disability groups, youth clubs and schools.
The honest feedback about the issues that visitors to Center81 faced on their everyday journeys gave CHA clear understanding of their needs and how they could be addressed through construction of a new access route.
Funding from other sources can help spur interest in walking and cycling in the local area. A successful bid to Keep Scotland Beautiful’s Climate Challenge Fund saw CHA work to refurbish bikes for people in the local area and provide maintenance training so people could keep their bikes on the road.
Led rides and social cycles also began and finished at Centre81, taking advantage of the café and other facilities. The new ramp will give ride groups direct access to and from the canal, avoiding an alternative narrow path. This will give people new or returning to cycling a safe, off-road link to practice and ride freely on.
Designing links for everyone
Inspired by their work with local residents, CHA and their designers created six designs for the ramp. Feedback also came from local stakeholders, including planning and roads officers at West Dunbartonshire Council, representatives from Clydebank Community Council and community officers from Police Scotland. Work with Scottish Canals and Sustrans Scotland ensured that proposals fitted with the requirements around the canal and the National Cycle Network.
Ensuring that local residents and users of Centre81 remained involved, CHA presented the six designs to the community, who voted for their favourite. The successful project was put forward to Sustrans Scotland for Places for Everyone construction funding.
Sustrans awarded CHA £170,000 through the Places for Everyone programme to finalise the technical design of the ramp and carry out construction. The option choose by the community will include local history, artwork, colourful tarmac and lighting to create an interesting new place. The school are keen to contribute by creating content to make this new space reflect the history and culture of Clydebank.
This project shows how partnerships with other organisations can create additional capacity and make smaller projects easier to deliver.
CHA staff were confident in engaging with their community, but had no experience of delivering an infrastructure project. West Dunbartonshire Council did not have the capacity to work in-depth with the community to develop a proposal for the canal ramp.
By pooling their knowledge and expertise, the two organisations were able to work together to create a useful route which meets the needs of local people and encourages them to travel by foot and bike.
The Sustrans Scotland Behaviour Change Team looks at how community organisations can use their experience and connections to lead the design process.
Through their work with local people, Glasgow-based charity Urban Roots realised that residents of a new housing development, funded as part of the regeneration of Toryglen, were finding it hard to access local services and greenspaces.
The charity applied for funding through Sustrans’ Places for
Everyone programme to design local walking and cycling routes. These will link
the new estate with nearby shops, football pitches and woodland.
Listening to the needs of the community
To gather information on the links that would be most useful
to the community, Urban Roots held focus groups tailored to their different volunteer
groups, held engagements at existing meetings and ran standalone events.
Urban Roots works to support many vulnerable people and
groups with protected characteristics. This experience and the trust built up
with volunteers, locals and service users let them carry out in-depth
consultation with groups that may have been hard to reach for a local authority
or developer, including a mental health and wellbeing group and the Orchard
Grove care home
The charity focused on identifying solutions to problems faced by the community in the area. They created concept boards to spark ideas at consultations. By working closely with the community and design agency LUC, Urban Roots were able to make sure that feedback from the targeted consultations was meaningfully translated into the concept designs.
This meant the proposed designs suggested walking and
cycling routes which recognised the everyday journeys made by local residents,
formalised desire lines and which were accessible, safe and welcoming to all.
“I think this would be a great space to use and for everyone from elderly to disabled people. Really well thought about!”
Changing local travel habits
Urban Roots used their consultations as a chance to find out
more about individual and social barriers to walking and cycling in the area. This
led to the charity setting up a behaviour change project in partnership with
Camglen Bike Town.
The project supported local people to be more active in
their everyday trips. Cycle training for adults and young people gave locals
the confidence to use bikes to get around the local area. Bike maintenance
sessions and guided rides help to make sure that people had the skills and
knowledge to ride safely and confidently.
“ At Bike Town, we believe local communities and the organisations representing them are ideally placed to facilitate walking and cycling activities that support the development of new cycling active travel infrastructure. ”
Jim Ewing, Senior Team Leader, Camglen Biketown
Urban Roots were well placed to lead on the community
engagement but did not have experience of project managing significant
To take the designs forward, Urban Roots engaged with Glasgow City Council and local regeneration agency Clyde Gateway This has resulted in Clyde Gateway applying for £50,000 of detailed and technical design funding through the Places for Everyone fund, to further develop Urban Roots’ concept design work.
Community organisations have key local contacts and an
understanding of their local area. Local authorities could contract them to
help with the planning of new routes or to encourage a more meaningful
Community organisations may also have capacity to help drive
local authority projects and foster local ownership.
This approach could be replicated through all stages of a
project, from initial design creation to supporting activities after
construction and ongoing maintenance.