Islington is top inner-London borough for healthy streets – again!
The council’s efforts to create greener, healthier, more welcoming streets for its residents have again been recognised, with Islington ranking as the best-performing inner-London borough in a city-wide report for the third successive year.
Islington Council is on a mission to reimagine its streets – through the introduction of seven low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs), 35 School Streets, and a network of cycleways – so that all residents can enjoy more pleasant, environmentally-friendly neighbourhoods. The changes are also helping to make it easier to walk, cycle, and wheel, and contributed to a borough-wide improvement in air quality in 2021.
The success of these improvements has seen the Healthy Streets Scorecard, which ranks boroughs on the action taken to create healthier streets, place Islington as its highest-scoring borough – excluding the City of London* - in its 2023 results, having done the same in 2022 and 2021.
Healthy Streets Scorecard also found that Islington was the best-performing borough for traffic-free School Streets, which make up 51% of the borough’s schools. It also found that Islington had the lowest proportion of car ownership in London, with 32 cars per 100 households.
Despite the clear success of the improvements that the council has already made to local people’s streets, even more ambitious plans are in place to transform the borough into a green haven, including:
- Introducing a network of Liveable Neighbourhoods across the borough. These will involve reimagining streets to make them more environmentally-friendly spaces, where it’s easier to walk, cycle, wheel, and play. Liveable Neighbourhoods will be shaped by communities, and will be subject to extensive engagement, co-design, and consultation with residents before being introduced - a process that is already underway in Mildmay, Barnsbury and Laycock, the Cally, and alongside City of London for the Bunhill, Barbican, and Golden Lane Healthy Neighbourhood.
- Building on the success of Islington’s School Streets at primary schools by introducing them at secondary schools. The council is also making improvements – such as pavement widening, bike parking, and greening – at schools that cannot be transformed into School Streets, such as Robert Blair Primary School, and very soon at St Joseph on Highgate Hill and Montem on Hornsey Road.
- Working towards making every pavement in Islington fully accessible.
- Creating new cycle routes.
Cllr Rowena Champion, Islington Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Air Quality, and Transport, said: “We’re clear that, as a council, our overriding objective is to create a more equal Islington for all. Ensuring that our streets are green, healthy, and welcoming spaces where it’s easier to walk, cycle, and wheel is at the heart of this.
“Ranking as the top inner-London borough for healthy streets action is fantastic recognition of the work that we’ve done to reimagine Islington’s streets so that they’re better for everyone – including through our LTNs, School Streets, and 20mph roads.
“We know, though, that there’s still so much that we can do to create a greener borough, where everyone can enjoy their streets. We have hugely ambitious plans for the future, and look forward to working hand in hand with local people to deliver them.”
Alice Roberts, Chair of Healthy Streets Scorecard, said: "People who have a physically active lifestyle have a 20 to 35% lower risk of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease and stroke compared to those who have a sedentary lifestyle. Regular physical activity is also associated with a reduced risk of diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis and colon and breast cancer.
"It’s so important Islington is demonstrating we can change our streets to promote the active lifestyles needed to avoid these devastating diseases.”
Notes to editors
*While the City of London scores well in many indicators, the Healthy Streets Scorecard acknowledge that it is not primarily a residential borough, and that comparisons with other boroughs may therefore be unhelpful.