Healthy Streets for Melbourne

3 Feb 2020

Victoria Walks is delighted to announce that we are bringing Lucy Saunders, Director of Healthy Streets in the UK, to the Smart Urban Futures conference.

Lucy Saunders is a unique combination of public health specialist, urbanist and transport planner. She created the Healthy Streets Approach, an evidence based-framework to embed public health in city transport and planning.

Her highly influential work put health at the heart of city policy in London. Healthy Streets is the framework of the Mayor’s 25 year Transport Strategy, a pillar of the London Plan (spatial plan) and part of all the Mayor’s statutory strategies. The Transport Strategy’s central aim is for 80 per cent of all trips in London to be made on foot, bicycle or public transport by 2041.

Lucy now spends a lot of time discussing better cities around the world. Talking to Radio New Zealand, she pointed out that healthy societies are not just about going to the gym.

"The places in the world where people are most active, it's not because they're highly motivated to take exercise and it's not because they feel really sporty or enthused by competitiveness, it's because it's a necessity of their daily life that they do a little bit of exercise throughout the day."

But that requires rethinking our cities and the way we travel.

"Progressive cities around the world are looking to reallocate space away from cars and towards other uses,” Lucy says.

"The benefits to people of Healthy Streets are obvious but you have to start by accepting that you will only get these by making it slightly less convenient to drive short journeys."

Check out this video summarising Lucy’s previous work in western Sydney.

At the conference, Lucy Saunders will use her own experience working with politicians and policy makers to highlight the top priorities, the critical success factors, the traps, decoys and distractions to avoid and how to be sure practitioners are achieving real change in the system.

Lucy’s visit is supported by VicHealth and the 20 Minute Neighbourhood program at DELWP, which will be working with her outside the conference to highlight the need for Healthy Streets. She’ll also be heading to Bendigo, with the support of the City of Greater Bendigo and Regional Roads Victoria.

Lucy joins Dale Bracewell, Manager of Transportation Planning for the City of Vancouver, as an international keynote speaker at the conference.

The Smart Urban Futures conference is a collaboration between Victoria Walks and the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV). It will be held at the Angliss Conference Centre in Melbourne on 29 and 30 April 2020.

Full conference program and registrations opening very soon.