Cities and states around the world are adopting a movement and place approach
A shift towards making roads and streets that consider both place and movement qualities is underway around the world. Transport agencies can contribute to creating towns and cities that are better for people by making streets more equitable and giving people more options for moving around safely. The NSW Movement and Place Framework aligns with these approaches.
Other notable movement and place programs include:
National Association of City Transportation Officials
National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO)
The NACTO network includes 91 North American cities and transit agencies. The group’s collective vision for safe, sustainable and healthy cities is supported with best-practice strategies for urban mobility and street design.
NACTO has engaged with cities and practitioners around the world to create a series of highly regarded street design guides offering advice for creating better streets in all kinds of contexts.
Relationship with NSW Movement and Place
The NSW Movement and Place Framework shares the NACTO vision and uses this design guidance in ways that are appropriate to our local context.
The Healthy Streets Approach is a human-centred framework for embedding public health in transport, public realm and planning. It has been most extensively adopted in Greater London, a region of 9 million people, though can be applied to any streets, anywhere in the world.
The approach is focused on, and framed by, improving the human experience of being on streets by improving 10 Healthy Streets Indicators. These indicators start from a premise that streets should be fit for human consumption and support prosperity throughout life, for all people, thereby contributing to human health as well as wider societal and environmental benefits.
Healthy Streets in Australia
The Healthy Streets Approach started being applied in New South Wales and Western Australia in 2019. The approach is beginning to be adopted by the NSW Department for Planning and Environment, Transport for NSW, and the South Western Sydney Local Health Districts.
To read more about Healthy Streets in Australia, click here.
Relationship with the NSW Movement and Place Framework
Healthy Streets and the NSW Movement and Place Framework share a common intent to create healthier streets and healthier movement options for people of all ages and abilities. They both utilise data-based methods, with the 10 Healthy Streets Indicators and the NSW built environment indicators available as tools for the analysis and assessment of streets. Both approaches support initiatives that are specific to the context of a place and aim for continuous improvement.
Healthy Streets is positioned as a city-wide agenda for healthy street environment outcomes, with a central role in planning policy set out in the London Plan. The Healthy Streets approach, however, goes beyond aspects of physical health and well-being and seeks to deliver streets that support broader social, environmental, and economic outcomes. This is similar to the NSW Movement and Place Framework's state-wide agenda to deliver against the five built environment themes and a holistic set of indicators.
There are, however, some important differences between these two approaches, which require careful consideration when working on a project or plan:
Scale - As suggested by the name, the Healthy Streets Approach can be applied to any street, anywhere in the world. This makes the approach particularly powerful when planning or designing segments of a network, including intersections. When working at a larger scale (i.e. precinct, regions), the NSW Movement and Place Framework allows for area-based analysis and assessment.
Indicators - A key application of the Healthy Streets approach is to improve against existing conditions, using pre-defined measures that act as a kind of checklist for streets. Movement and Place similarly seeks improvement against all measures, but additionally asks each project to set targets using the Built Environment Indicators based on the project’s role in achieving a wider community-led vision for the place.
Function - Healthy Streets generally applies to roads and streets where people are expected to walk, cycle, and spend time in. Healthy Streets does not consider the function of that particular street in a network context.
Road Users - The NSW Movement and Place Framework goes beyond the planning and design for people who walk and cycle, emphasising the need to include freight and servicing as well as public transport in your analysis of place and movement networks.
Recommendation for using Healthy Streets in NSW
Some tools have been developed for the Australian context to measure the 10 Healthy Streets Indicators in terms of how a street looks and functions and what people think of a street.
The Healthy Streets Design Check for Australia is an easy-to-use tool to assess the performance of Australian Streets against the 10 Healthy Streets Indicators. It is recommended for use at street level scale, where it can provide a quantitative assessment of any individual street segment (any part of the street, including intersections).
The Healthy Streets Design Check for Australia can be used at multiple stages in the Movement and Place core process to enhance a project’s consideration for how roads and streets influence human health. This includes:
Step 1: Vision and evaluation criteria – consider specifying health outcomes in the project’s vision, objectives, and evaluation criteria, for example with quantitative Healthy Streets performance targets.
Step 2: Understand place – use the Design Check to analyse the health performance of streets within the project’s study area as part of the broader place analysis.
Step 4: Issues and opportunities – review Design Check information to identify which individual streets or larger areas within the local street network are performing better or worse in terms of Healthy Streets Indicators, and suggest where the project could positively influence health outcomes in general and/or targeted ways.
Step 6: Preferred options – use the Design Check to assess the performance of each proposed option against the Healthy Streets Indicators, and include this assessment as a criterion in the selection of a preferred option.
Healthy Streets resources
Healthy Streets tools, guidance, and case study resources include:
The Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency’s One Network Framework is a national classification system for roads and streets. It has shifted thinking about transport from a focus on the volume of movement to considering the different functions of roads and streets, encouraging designers, planners, and engineers to adopt a more integrated design approach.
The One Network Framework is directly aligned with the Movement and Place Framework. As NSW and New Zealand share many similar circumstances, there is a significant ongoing opportunity for collaboration on movement and place approaches between our governments, practitioners and communities.
Complete Streets is a global movement advocating a more holistic approach to road and street design. It emphasises that streets are public spaces, and everyone has an equal right of access to streets that are safe, comfortable and offer convenient travel. This approach moves away from a singular focus on private cars and instead considers all people, functions and modes within the whole street.
A ‘complete’ street is designed to include all road users, including people walking, cycling and using public transport. It considers place quality as well as water movement and drainage, trees and landscaping, and services and utilities. A hierarchy of travel modes prioritises the most healthy, efficient, and sustainable modes first; these are also the safest.
Complete street redesign projects often reallocate street space more equitably, demonstrating how a wider diversity of movement options can make everyone’s journeys (including those who remain in cars) more safe, efficient and pleasant.
Detailed designs for complete streets change to suit the local context. For example, while all streets should be safe for cycling, cycling can be shared with vehicles in lower speed environments, and separated from vehicles with dedicated bike lanes where speeds are higher.
Targeted street design approaches can be used in specific situations. Different types of 'activity streets' increase the diversity and equity of the broader network:
Main streets include spaces for social gathering, outdoor dining, and high-quality landscaping and materials.
Shared streets allow people to move freely while cars move slowly as ‘guests’ in the space.
Green streets include abundant trees and landscaping.
Blue streets feature dedicated water-sensitive and flood-design features.
Play streets create space for play and community activities.
School streets feature time-based or permanent closures to through-vehicle traffic to encourage safer and more active travel to school.
Complete streets offer significant health, social, environmental, and economic benefits for individuals and the broader community.
Relationship with NSW Movement and Place
Like the Complete Streets approach, the NSW Movement and Place Framework recognises that road users and functions often compete for limited and finite street space. Both programs enable a more holistic consideration of movement and place functions.
Complete street approaches are especially relevant for urban centres, main streets, and main roads in Sydney and NSW. These places generally need to provide a diverse range of movement and place options.