Meet My Street activities can be used to improve our sense of security about where we live, regarding social safety as well as from the dangers of traffic. Residents are highly motivated when there is no traffic for a day during a Street Party.
Research by the University of West of England supported by Streets Alive has shown that friendships on busy traffic streets are cut by more than 75%. Reducing and slowing traffic can boost social relations and make it safer for walking and cycling.
- Restorative approach
On an estate in south Bristol 15 street parties have been facilitated over 3 years, by workers and residents. Alongside the wider confidence and social cohesion benefits, the events were used to recruit residents to become involved in a planned Restorative Approach programme. This involves residents being trained to act as mediators in disputes between residents and dealing with low level anti-social behaviour that does not involve the police. The events were also used to recruit new Street Reps. See here.
- Calming traffic and speed
Streets Alive is involved with projects that involve targeting green transport information to residents, building confidence and skills to be able to walk and cycle safely, and promoting slower traffic speeds. The results have been equivalent to other travel marketing programmes. Streets Alive would like to develop a programme in communities with extensive 20mph areas in order to build a more positive view of the speed limit and to encourage a community self-enforcement of the speed. At the same time the programme would take the opportunity to promote relevant outputs such as cycling, walking and other greener travel options.
Ideas in development
- Neighbourhood watch
Streets Alive has found that Neighbourhood Watch groups can sometimes be at the forefront of building community at the street level, sometimes through Street Mixers. Streets Alive is planning to build a programme of neighbours' events and activities to ensure that this positive approach is more common than the sometimes negative fear of an area that some groups achieve through highlighting crime incidents even well outside their area.