Sustrans to take over Street Talks

I’m pleased to announce that Sustrans are to take over the role of organising Street Talks. I’ve recently started working for Transport for London and as a result have decided to put the activities of Movement for Liveable London on hold. The website will stay live so that people can continue to access the Street Talks archive and other resources, and upcoming talks will continue to be advertised through the mailing list – you might also like to follow Sustrans London on Twitter.

I’d like to thank German, Matt and Nick at Sustrans for offering to keep Street Talks going. Much progress has been made in London since the talks began in March 2011, but there’s still a need for events that allow anyone with an interest to hear inspiring speakers and discuss the relationship between transport, public realm and liveability.

Details of the next Street Talks, which will explore the role of street closures in providing space for play, can be found here.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have attended past talks and in particular previous speakers – it’s fair to say that Movement for Liveable London and Street Talks would have been nothing without you.

Best wishes

Bruce McVean, Founder, Movement for Liveable London

Street Talks, 17th March – Playing out: the role of street closures in providing space for play

The next Street Talks will hear from those responsible for facilitating, organising and assessing the impact of play streets in Hackney and consider the role of temporary street closures in providing space for play (and more), with presentations from:

6.30pm, Tuesday 17th March at The Gallery, 70 Cowcross Street, EC1M 6EJ (This event has been arranged by Sustrans who are taking over the organising of Street Talks, more details here)

Claudia Draper joined with other parents to successfully campaign for the introduction of Hackney Play Streets in 2012 and is a volunteer organiser in her own street. Claudia now works for Hackney Play Association, a charity that works to improve children and young people’s health, wellbeing and quality of life, through play. She has worked closely with Hackney Council and Playing Out CIC to support residents, schools and other community organisations to activate street play in their areas. There are now 32  streets taking part in Hackney that run regular playing out sessions with Claudia’s support. 

Nick Jackson is Play Development Manager for Young Hackney, Hackney Council, which aims to help all of Hackney’s young people to enjoy their youth and become independent and successful adults. Nick commissioned the play street support work that has running for the last year and a half. This has spurred the uptake of play streets in the borough and helped play streets spread to more deprived areas in Hackney.

Tim Gill is one of the UK’s leading thinkers on childhood, and an effective advocate for positive change in children’s everyday lives. For over 15 years his writing, research, consultancy projects and other work has focused on the changing nature of childhood. Tim has advised political parties and think-tanks across the political spectrum. His clients include the National Trust, London Legacy Development Company, Forestry Commission, Mayor of London, Argent plc. and Play England. He is also a Built Environment Expert for Design Council CABE, the UK Government’s design champion for the built environment.

An update on Mini-Hollands – Register now

Thursday 27th November, 6:30 – 8.30pm at Westminster University (near Baker St Tube)

This is a a joint event with the London Cycling Campaign, with speakers from Enfield, Kingston and Waltham Forest.

The Mini-Hollands programme is perhaps the most ambitious aspect of the Mayor’s Cycling Vision. Three Outer London boroughs are receiving substantive funding for transformative interventions in town centres, incorporating measures such as new fully segregated cycle routes and extensive modal filtering. Come and discuss how plans are progressing in each borough and what other transport authorities can learn from these experiences.

This event is free to attend, but registration is required. Register here.

Still time to have your say on TfL’s proposals for East-West and North-South Cycle Superhighways

If you haven’t done so already there’s still plenty of time to have your say on TfL’s proposals for East-West and North-South Cycle Superhighways – consultation closes on 9th November. We support the proposals and urge you to do the same.

Details of the East-West Cycle Superhighway are available here, and you can submit comments via this survey. Details of the North-South route are here, and the survey is here. The surveys may look daunting at first, but if you don’t want submit detailed comments you can just scroll down to the end where there is a general comments section.

Alternatively, London Cycling Campaign have made it nice and easy to send on email to TfL in support of the proposals – you can do that here.

Finally, if you’re a business and want to join the likes of Deloitte, Land Securities, Orange and many more in showing your support for the Cycle Superhighways then you can do so using the Cycling Works website.


Street Talks, 2nd September – In with the new: Designing for walking and cycling in new developments

Street Talks with:

  • Nick Searl, Partner, Argent 
  • Maximo Martinez, Associate Director, Space Syntax
  • Bruce McVean, Founder, Movement for Liveable London and Associate Director, Beyond Green

London is a growing and ever evolving city and new development is everywhere – often taking place at a significant scale that essentially creates new pieces of city. New development provides the opportunity to make places where walking and cycling is a pleasure, starting with a relatively blank canvas to create great streets, squares and parks.

We hope you can join us for the next Street Talks when we’ll be considering how to ensure new developments genuinely put the needs of pedestrians and cyclists first. We’ll explore how to improve connectivity for those on foot and bike, learn from the experience of developing King’s Cross – one of the largest and most exciting projects currently underway in London – and learn how the design of neighbourhoods, streets and homes in suburban locations can help break the cycle of car dependency.

6.30pm, Tuesday 2nd September at The Gallery, 70 Cowcross Street, EC1M 6EJ – in partnership with Sustrans London

Nick Searl is a Partner of Argent LLP, having joined the company in January 2008. His main priority is leading the commercial teams at King’s Cross who deal with the definition, strategy, leasing and management of the office and retail components. He is also closely involved with the wider branding and promotion of King’s Cross. At a corporate level, Nick is involved in securing new development opportunities for Argent and is jointly responsible for marketing and promoting the business.

Before joining Argent, Nick worked with Chelsfield and European Land at Paddington Basin where he delivered The Point and Waterside buildings for M&S and Orange respectively and was also the development manager obtaining planning permission for the 1.8 million sq ft Merchant Square development.

Max Martinez is an Associate Director at Space Syntax where he leads interdisciplinary projects that range from the development of design briefs to the strategic design of urban areas and buildings. His particular interest is to provide design solutions that optimise available spatial resources for the benefit of the project and to the wider area. Through a collaborative approach, he brings his extensive project experience into the design process helping partners and clients reduce the inherent risks of design and development.

Max leads the development of the practice’s complex buildings portfolio: cultural, health, education, workplace. His contributions include the redevelopment of the Royal Festival Hall and the Barbican Arts Centre in London and a visitor circulation strategy for the Natural History Museum in London. His recent masterplanning contributions include the BBC Television Centre and Elizabeth House in London and the Snow Hill Station Interchange Plan in Birmingham. He is an Honorary Research Fellow at the Bartlett, University College London where he lectures regularly on the Spatial Design: Architecture & Cities masters programme.

Bruce McVean is Associate Director of Beyond Green, a consulting and development business that aims to create places where residents, employees and visitors can enjoy a high quality of life while minimising their environmental footprint. He leads Beyond Green’s work on strategic masterplanning, helping design teams and local stakeholders work together to ensure places are designed and run in ways that are truly sustainable.  

Bruce founded Movement for Liveable London in 2011 and is also a Trustee of Living Streets. He was previously Senior Policy Advisor at the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) where he was responsible for developing and communicating CABE’s policies on sustainable design and climate change, public buildings, health and public space.

On our feet: Putting walking at the heart of a vision for a more liveable London – Bruce McVean’s Ideas for London presentation

On 14th June Bruce McVean, Founder of Movement for Liveable London, joined John Dales and Councillor Vincent Stops to discuss the future of transport in London at Christian Wolmar’s Ideas for London conference.

You can watch Bruce’s presentation and view his slides below, videos of all the conference speakers are available here.


An open letter on Camden’s West End Project – We support Camden’s vision for the West End and we hope you will too

The letter below is signed by people who, despite having different areas of focus – walking campaigning, cycling campaigning, street design, sustainable living, share a strong common interest in making our town and city streets much more attractive places to move in on foot and by bike, and simply to be in.

We support Camden’s vision for the West End and we hope you will too

Last week, Camden Council launched a public consultation on its West End Project, which envisages significant change to the layout and use of Tottenham Court Road, Gower Street, and neighbouring streets and spaces. It’s a project with the ambitious overall objectives of making this part of London much more pleasant to be in, much more attractive to get to/from and around on foot and by bike, and better for access by both bus and train (including from the new Tottenham Court Road Crossrail station). Details can be found here.

The basis for achieving these objectives is the return of both Tottenham Court Road and Gower Street to two-way working, the exclusion of through motor traffic except buses from Tottenham Court Road during weekdays, significant reductions in traffic flows on the majority of streets in the area, and the reallocation of carriageway space for walking, cycling, trees and public space.

Each of us has different views as to how the current proposals could be improved, and we will be making different representations to Camden accordingly.

However, the reason we’re putting our names to this open letter is that, while our views on the current proposals might differ, we share the view that Camden’s overall vision of streets that are more inclusive of walking and cycling deserves our support. The West End Project presents the real opportunity to show how even the busiest London streets can be reclaimed from motor traffic dominance and made into much more enjoyable places for people. If successful, the project will do much to enable progressive schemes to be implemented elsewhere in this city, and others.

Projects like this are hugely complex, none is ever perfect, and no individual or group is ever likely to have all their needs and aspirations met. That’s one of the reasons we don’t all agree as to how Camden’s proposals should be developed. But we’re determined that our criticism will be constructive, so that the Council is encouraged to build on, not retreat from, its current proposals. We urge you to do likewise.

Bruce McVean, Founder, Movement for Liveable London

John Dales, Director, Urban Movement

Cllr Caroline Russell, Local Transport Spokesperson, The Green Party

Mark Ames, Editor, ibikelondon blog

Putting streets on the political agenda – Register now for the Living Streets Supporters’ Conference

Putting streets on the political agenda: General Election 2015

Living Streets Supporters’ Conference

10am – 4.30pm, Saturday 21st June at NCVO, King’s Cross, London.

We’re delighted to be supporting this year’s Living Streets Supporters’ Conference.

The central theme for this year’s conference is putting streets and walking on the political agenda in the run up to the General Election. With the election only 11 months away the time to get streets on the political agenda is now.

The packed programme for the day includes a keynote address from John Whitelegg, who will be addressing ‘putting sustainable transport at the of election campaigning’; Streets Question Time – your chance to ask representatives from the main political parties about there plans to put pedestrians at the heart of transport policy; and masterclass sessions covering engaging with MPs and decision makers, running a successful local campaigning group and online campaign tactics to inspire change.

The conference is free to attend. You can find more details and register to attend here.