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Walk Ride Camden

MA Communication Design students at Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design were briefed to research and deliver design proposals that would inspire those of us who live, visit and work in Camden to walk and cycle more.

In 2010 – 11, London Borough of Camden, working with the Socially Responsive Art and Design and Innovation Hub of the Design Against Crime Research Centre and MA Communication Design at Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design, briefed student designers to research and deliver design proposals that would inspire those of us who live, visit and work in Camden to walk and cycle more. Research shows that people who spend 30 minutes or more walking or cycling 5 times a week, live happier and healthier lives, it can also be fun, help save money and is a great way to discover a local area and shops.

Coordinated by the Council’s Smarter Travel team, the boroughs Active Health, Town Centre Management and Communication teams all contributed to briefing students with a view to catalyzing the generation of proposals that address the multiple agendas of modal shift, health and local economy.

Modal shift – how to inspire people to travel more by foot or by bike to reduce congestion of roads and public transport and CO2 emissions.

Health – how to help people to enjoy 30mins of exercise 5 times a week.

Local economy – how to inspire people to find what they want locally and help local business find local customers.

The aim of this approach was to maximize impact in terms of public behavioural change that will have a positive impact on Camden residents, with minimum expenditure. All proposals were required to be:

• Cheap or free to implement – Ideas must use amenities and services and information that are already available within the borough.

• Accessible to as many people as possible.

• Sustainable without maintenance and servicing costs.

• Flexible and scalable – so that as many people as possible can enjoy them for as long as possible.

Working in teams, the students consulted local residents and stakeholder groups to produce 10 proposals. The proposals were displayed in St Pancras Station concourse for a period of two weeks. The public were invited to respond to the proposals by commenting online and voting for their favourite idea. The project was a success and one of the proposals, ‘Walk the Tube’, has gone forward for implementation within the borough.

See the project website here