A key GM Moving priority is to develop active and sustainable environments through active design, planning and infrastructure that makes the choice to be active easier and more appealing for everyone.

The places and spaces around us can have a positive or negative impact on whether, how, when, and where we move. Creating spaces and places for people in communities to connect to each other, to local shops and services and that enable easy and safe movement is key to supporting more active lifestyles.

We need to learn how to design and adapt places so that they support more active lifestyles. Good design of our streets and public spaces contributes to good public health, increased active travel, greater connectivity, improved sustainability and a general sense of wellbeing. Good design is active design and active design is good design.

There is growing understanding of the importance of good urban design and the role this can play in contributing to active lives, creating health and wealth for the region and a more sustainable future. This is reflected in policy changes and a growing public and political appetite to change the way we design, plan and treat our streets and public spaces, to include recognition of the need to reallocate space away from the car and towards more people-friendly spaces, green and blue spaces and a network of interconnected walking and cycling routes.

Developing walking infrastructure such as clean, wide, even pavements, priority-crossing points on busy roads and junctions, lighting, places to sit and bins are key considerations to make walkable places. Other element such as public art, community greening projects and welcoming buildings are also part of creating walkable places. Find out more about making Greater Manchester a great place to walk here.

None of this can be done by any part of the system working in isolation: the best cycleways in the world, a clean air zone or greener public transport, will achieve little or nothing if they are planned in isolation. Embedding active travel as an accessible, convenient, integrated part of the jigsaw, whilst taking into account the key elements of place and the realities of people’s lives, can help to ensure that they can get to their destination without needing a car.

Greater Manchester Moving has the opportunity to provide collective leadership on this agenda so we can create places that support active, healthy, sustainable and thriving communities.

Further details please contact

Strategic architecture and policy

  • Greater Manchester's Plan for Homes, Jobs and the Environment (the spatial framework) is a plan prepared on behalf of the city-region's 10 local authorities for the period of 2020-2037.
  • Places for Everyone (PfE) - is a long-term plan of nine Greater Manchester districts (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan) for jobs, new homes, and sustainable growth, published by GMCA. The plan will determine the kind of development that takes place, maximising the use of brownfield land and urban spaces while protecting Green Belt land. It will also ensure all new developments are sustainably integrated into Greater Manchester’s transport network or supported by new infrastructure.
  • Active Travel related policy and landscape information can be found here.

Latest News

All News

Green Spaces Fund Launch

By GM Environment Fund | 13 June 2022

The Green Spaces Fund supports community-led projects that increase the amount and quality of accessible, nature-rich green space in the city region.

Healthy Streets Design Check launched

By Sustrans | 01 November 2021

The new tool will help urban designers, transport planners and highways teams to create healthier streets for everyone.

Alternative ways of encouraging increasing physical activity in Schools

By GreaterSport | 01 September 2021

Greenside Primary wanted to ensure that their children and families were active throughout the lockdown and explored different ways to engage their cohort.