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ActDev workshop: how the planning system can support active travel

Online workshop, 12 March 2021, 14.00 - 16.45

01 March 2021

The ‘ActDev’ project supports evidence-based site location and transport infrastructure prioritisation around new developments, and new housing developments in particular.

About this workshop

This short workshop will give participants a first insight into a web-based tool that brings together three strands: planning data, accessibility data, and demographic data in a easy to use format for local authorities.

Planning is in the spotlight with the recent Planning White Paper and increased scrutiny of their levels of sustainability in the run-up to COP26 to be hosted in Glasgow in November 2021.

In this context, this workshop will provide a space to discuss the relationship between active travel and the planning system. The focus of the workshop will be a new prototype tool from the ActDev project, led by the University of Leeds in collaboration with CycleStreets Ltd, UK PlanIt, and the transport planning visualisation tool A/B Street.

The workshop will give participants a first insight into the tool with, for the first time, three key strands of evidence. When combined, these can provide a strong foundation enabling evidence-based decision-making so that the planning system can help, rather than hinder, active travel and sustainable lifestyles:

  • Planning data: The PlanIt API provides access to planning application data from Local Authorities across the UK.

  • Accessibility data: Government Journey Time Statistics and datasets generated by the project show journey times and walkability/cyclability to key trip attractors. These will provide information on the suitability of locations, and help to identify where improvements may be necessary to enable safe walking and cycling associated with new developments.

  • Demographic and location data: existing travel patterns in nearby areas provide an indication of the likely travel behaviours of new residents on the site. These are incorporated into the ActDev tool as the basis of scenarios of change to show what could be possible in particular sites and where reconsideration of development location or design may be needed to avoid car dependency.

The prototype web tool which we are developing can be used to visualise these key datasets and focus in on the area surrounding a potential development site.



Chair: Stephen Joseph, Transport for New Homes & Foundation for Integrated Transport

14:00 – 14.10: Chair’s overview: context and why the tool is needed

14.10 -14.15: Intrductions / context from Robin Lovelace, Associate Professor of Transport Data Science, University of Leeds

  • The ActDev Project: why it’s needed and what participants can expect from the workshop  

  • What the ActDev team needs in terms of feedback during the event

14.15: Perspectives - National, local authority, advocacy


Lynda Addison, Lead on planning and transport integration, Transport Planning Society

Julian Sanchez, Active Travel, Programme Manager, Essex County Council 

Megan Streb, Partnership Manager, Sustrans


New NPPF insights: Planning for the Future

Active Travel England brief / National Model Design Code: active travel role

Transport decarbonisation: active travel role

A supportive and practical policy context?

How could Gov / local authorities / advocates / users support this new tool / service?

14.30  - 15.00 Q and A with invited panel members joining the speakers, and input from delegates 


Graham Smith, Urban Design Group

Robin Lovelace, Associate Professor of Transport Data Science, Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds

Lucy Taussig, Consultant, Active Travel


15:00 – 16.00 About the ActDev project

The ActDev Tool:  Robin Lovelace, Associate Professor of Transport Data Science, Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds & Joey Talbot, Research Fellow, Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds (15 min)

Martin Lucas Smith, CycleStreets (10 min)

Simulating active travel: Dustin Carlino, Project Lead, A/B Street  (10 mins)

20 minutes Q & A on the ActDev tool

15.55: 5 min comfort break

16:00 – 16.30 Breakout sessions  (5 x 30 mins)

1. Locating development sites: moderator Lynda Addison

2. Policy: moderator Roger Geffen

3. Good design of development sites: moderator Joey Talbot

4. Planning/routing data: moderator Martin Lucas Smith

5. Technology: moderator Dustin Carlito

16.30 – 16.45: Moderators of each breakout room to feedback – 3 mins x 5 

16.45 Close

Register here

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