Active Environments

Designing places and spaces that encourage an active lifestyle.

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What is Active Environments? 

The design of the places and spaces in which we live, work and play has a significant impact on how physically active we are. Active environments include:

  • safe, accessible and connected walking and cycling routes
  • good access to public transport
  • active buildings
  • vibrant parks and open spaces
  • access to the natural environment
  • access to suitable sporting facilities
  • activating places and spaces

All of which makes it easier to incorporate activity into daily life.

Active environments can have a positive impact on:

  • Improved health and well-being – contributes directly to physical and mental health and recovery.
  • Active travel  resulting in fewer emissions, better air quality, less noise, and fewer collisions. Walking or cycling can realistically substitute for 41% of short car trips, saving nearly 5% of CO2 emissions from car travel.
  • Safety – Greater pedestrian activity in public spaces can improve perceptions of safety through passive surveillance which naturally aids the prevention of crime with more ‘eyes on the street’.
  • More inclusive and joined-up communities – support a sense of community and improve social interaction, as residents are more likely to know their neighbours and trust others, and be more involved in the community.
  • Good for local businesses – boost footfall and trading by up to 40% and a decline in retail vacancy in high streets and town centres.

There are over 100,000 new homes planned in Hertfordshire over the next 15 years as well as significant regeneration projects and associated infrastructure, which presents a tremendous opportunity to design in an active lifestyle. 

HSP is working with key partners in the local planning and transport system to build stronger links to active environments and influence long-term planning policy. Support work includes:

Support work