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Celebrating Healthy Streets


Deniz Huseyin
26 October 2018


The Healthy Streets Awards 2018 took place at the London Guildhall last week. The judges were impressed by the high quality of this year’s entries, which included some of the best work carried out in the UK

The winners of the Healthy Streets Awards 2018 were announced last week, with Waltham Forest bagging three trophies. The London borough took the Healthy Street of the Year, Behaviour Change Initiatives and Photo of the Year awards. It was also a good night for The London boroughs of Southwark, Hackney and Hammersmith & Fulham while Iain Simmons from the City of London Corporation took the Healthy Streets Champion title. The awards were presented at Healthy Streets, hosted by the City of London Corporation and organised by Landor LINKS.  

The chair of the judging committee was Brian Deegan, design engineer at Urban Movement. “The judges were blown away by the quality of the submissions this year,” he said. “Enfield’s Green Lanes scheme is one the best schemes ever delivered in the UK but it happened to be up against an almost definitive Heathy Streets scheme in Francis Road from Waltham Forest.  

“Likewise, Aldgate from the City of London is one of the finest pieces of public realm in the City and they removed a gyratory to do it. The judges were full of passion for all the entries and it really was close. Francis Road won in the end as anybody could be taken there and convinced it was a healthy street. It was a truly remarkable achievement in a truly remarkable year.”

The Behaviour Change Award, won by Waltham Forest, was another hotly contested category, said Deegan, giving special mention to the Meristem submission. “However, it was the sheer weight of evidence and results that set Waltham Forest apart. They have bold ideas, then deliver them and, best of all, monitor the benefits so the rest of us can convince others to let us try and do the same.  

“If we had an award for speech of the conference it would clearly have gone to Cllr Clyde Loakes from Waltham Forest who reassures us that great leadership can lead to great results even if the road is bumpy.” 

Hackney council won because “they are helping to tackle the horror show that is the school run”, said Deegan. “Children and parents choosing to get to school by active means should not be disadvantaged by the behaviour of those who chose to drive.”

The judges were impressed by the two finalists shortlisted in the Business Improvement Districts category. “But we felt that over the past 12 months Hammersmith & Fulham edged it. Better Bankside are in the judges opinion the best BID in the country, but on paper Hammersmith made the best case.”

The Community Award was also “incredibly close and split the judges down the middle”, admitted Deegan. “Lamlash Gardens is amazing, but our hearts were won over by the tale of a community in Southwark coming together to stop ‘rat running’ traffic. The judges hope this is replicated nationwide.”

Proposal of the Year went to Salford with their Chapel Street scheme which involves segregated cycling, traffic reduction and a new public space.  “This is a perfect combination,” said Deegan. “The judges were also greatly impressed with Hackney Council’s liveable neighbourhood bid, which read like a list of ‘must haves’ for a better society. Hackney is the model on which Healthy Streets was built but Salford isinspiring a region traditionally associated with automotive indulgence.”

The Innovation Award went to David Dansky’s Ride Side-by-Side project to ride side by side with people who have mental health issues. “The project is testimony to David’s sense of social responsibility and his many years championing cycling,” said Deegan. “All the judges looked at each other and unanimously said David’s name.”

Iain Simmons from the City of London Corporation took the coveted title of Healthy Streets Champion of the year. “The judges had no other choice than to give it to the man who gave us Aldgate and Bank Junction,” said Deegan. “Those judges who have worked with Iain Simmons know just how long he has been working on those two schemes and the trials and tribulations he has faced.”

Deegan added: “To champion a controversial scheme you need dedication and resolve. Iain has these qualities and a fair bit of political nous as well. We know what he went through and in the City’s draft transport strategy he has left a legacy that should help the City fulfill its potential as the most walkable place in the UK.”

Deegan was keen to pay tribute to the finalists that didn’t win awards. “I know this sounds like spin but it really means that the concept of Healthy Streets is up and running and long may it last. Seeing Manchester, Leicester and Glasgow embrace the concept and promise world beating schemes was a highlight of the conference. It will not be long before these cities walk off with most of the awards. 

“The judges would also like to thank Sustrans who are delivering most of the Healthy Streets projects in the UK. They keep getting pipped to the post but their work and ideals are inspiring the winners so keep on going! I hope the rest of the UK joins the Healthy Streets movement. Who on earth does not want to live on a healthy street?”  

The Winners

• Best Healthy Streets Behaviour Change Initiatives Award – London Borough of Waltham Forest

• Best Healthy Streets Business Improvement District Project – London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham

• Healthy Streets Champion Awardm - Iain Simmons, assistant director of local transportation, City of London Corporation 

• Healthy Streets Community Project of the Year - London Borough of Southwark

• Best Healthy Streets Innovation Award - David Dansky, Ride Side-by-Side

• Best Policing / Enforcement Initiative Award - London Borough of Hackney

• Healthy Streets Proposal of the Year Award - Salford City Council

• The Healthy Street of the Year Award - London Borough of Waltham Forest

• Best Healthy Streets Photo of the Year Award - London Borough of Waltham Forest

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