When you’ve lived in a neighbourhood a long time, the small things annoy you. Maybe it’s that your street being is used for rat-running or the lack of street lighting at night. Sometimes it’s not seeing enough greenery in the area. Small yet simple changes can make ‘liveable neighbourhoods’ in no time. That’s the idea at least…
Bristol City Council has chosen an area of East Bristol for its first liveable neighbourhood pilot. The area will cover Barton Hill and parts of Redfield and St George, south of Church Road and north of the River Avon. Its aim will be to improve air quality by making it easier to catch a bus, to walk or cycle. Plus it will reduce through traffic (‘rat-running’ and speeding) using bollards, barriers, and planters.
Other aims of the East Bristol Liveable Neighbourhoods trial will include providing better qualitygreen spaces and safe spaces for children to play; small scale improvements like planting trees, more benches, community activity spaces, cross points and better lighting; and letting everyone feel a part of the community.
It’s unlikely that the trial will start before 2025, however, as it is currently in a co-developing phase with locals. To prepare for the pilot project in East Bristol and make the neighbourhood more ‘liveable’, the council first wants to know how people use the local streets and spend time in the area. The views of residents, local groups, businesses and schools are especially being sought after.
What are the benefits of liveable neighbourhoods?
Though improvements proposed in Liveable Neighbourhood schemes can be small, their cumulative impact can be significant. Outlined in Bristol’s One City Plan, there are more than 100 goals the city has set itself that are linked to the delivery of Liveable Neighbourhoods. These include topics of Children and Young People, Economy and Skills, Environment, Health and Wellbeing, Homes and Communities, and Transport.
“By reducing the number of vehicles in neighbourhoods, local streets can be redesigned from places that simply facilitate the movement of traffic to spaces that can cater for other uses and users and are generally more pleasant and pollution free environments,” said Bristol City Council in its Liveable Neighbourhoods Handbook. (https://www.bristol.gov.uk/files/documents/5807-liveable-neighbourhoods-handbook/file)
In May 2022, the Bristol Walking and Cycling Index found that more than 65% of people in Bristol support the creation of more Low Traffic Neighbourhoods. While in 2021, the recommendations for Bristol’s first Citizens’ Assembly identified more than 90% support for the idea that as a city we should be ‘fundamentally reimagining the places we live so that they are people centred (i.e., create Liveable Neighbourhoods)’.
To have you say on the East Bristol Liveable Neighbourhood head here.