Bromley Living Streets Webinar – Introducing ’15 Minute Cities'”

Blue skies over Beckenham Place Park

Bromley Living Streets is delighted to announce a webinar introducing the concept of “15 Minute Cities” as a valuable tool for thinking through the future of town centres/high streets in London Borough of Bromley.

Click here to register to attend.

Three of Bromley Borough’s local town centres (Bromley, Orpington and Beckenham) are currently considering proposals for development that would significantly increase the number of flats in and around the town centre. Understandably, many residents have concerns about how this will work in practice. As a group of local volunteers campaigning for safer, quieter streets suitable for all people and all modes of travel, Bromley Living Streets are organising this webinar because we are keen to ensure residents have the information they need to respond to ongoing consultations on these redevelopments. 

In a nutshell, the concept of 15 Minute Cities helps us think about how we can make local high streets and town centres the go-to place for people to meet their everyday needs (read more here). We are delighted to announce our speakers for this webinar as Jeremy Leach and Alice Roberts.


Jeremy Leach is Chair of London Living Streets, which was formed in August 2016 to speak up for people on foot across London and is made up of the many local Living Streets groups across the capital. The group has focused on reducing danger on the roads for people who are walking, cutting the time that people have to wait before they can cross the road and mapping great walking routes across London. London Living Streets believes strongly that high streets and town centres should be great places to walk and should be and feel safe for everyone.

Alice Roberts is Head of Campaigns at CPRE London, which she joined in 2015, having worked at the Local Government Association, Campaign for Better Transport, Defra, the National Lottery and the European Commission. She has campaigned on parks, street scene, planning, transport, waste and recycling issues. Alice lives in Hackney where she keeps a parklet and enjoys guerrilla gardening. She tweets as @ClaptonAlice.

15-Minute Intro to 15-Minute Cities

Inspired by an image attached to this article:

So, you want…

  • To reduce obesity and diabetes by 20%?
  • Lower carbon emissions and air pollution where you live?
  • Safe and convenient access to the amenities you need each day?
  • Your children to feel safe walking or cycling to school?

Take a look at “15 Minute Cities”

Popularised recently by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and Carlos Moreno, a driving force behind the Paris city plan, there are manifestations of the 15 Minute City around the world: 

  • ‘ciudad a escala humana’ (‘human-scale city’, Buenos Aires),
  • ‘complete neighbourhoods’ (Portland, Oregon), 
  • ‘Barrios Vitales’ (’vital neighbourhoods’, Bogotá), 
  • ’20-minute neighbourhoods’ (Melbourne), 
  • ‘superblock’ (Barcelona), 
  • and more.

The core principles include:

  • Ensure easy access to basic amenities including groceries, fresh food and healthcare in every neighbourhood.
  • Build a multicultural neighbourhood that includes different housing types and levels of affordability, with the convenience for everyone of living close to the workplace.
  • Have abundant green spaces to ensure access for everyone to the natural environment and clean fresh air.
  • Establish smaller-scale offices, and retail, hospitality and co-working spaces, so that more people can work closer to home or in a virtual set-up.
  • Create walking and cycling corridors to facilitate ‘soft’ transportation and reduce the convenience of travelling by car. 

As demonstrated in many towns and cities around the world, embracing these principles creates an environment where people naturally choose walking and cycling for short journeys.

There is great potential for this to happen here too. In Britain, 20% of journeys by car are under 1 mile, a distance easily walked in 15 minutes, or cycled in 5 minutes. 38% are under 2 miles, a distance easily cycled in around 10 minutes. Enabling some or most of these journeys to be walked or cycled instead will of course greatly reduce traffic volumes, and realise the many health and environmental benefits that come from quieter, safer streets.

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Close your street this June for a Platinum Jubilee Street Party!

What are streets for? It has become the norm that motor vehicles get priority on our streets and roads, but this June there is a unique chance to reclaim your local street as a place to build community, celebrate and allow children to play safely.

In recognition that Her Majesty the Queen will become the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee in June 2022, Bromley Council are waiving road closure fees (£564) for street parties planned between 2-5 June 2022. Planning is underway for Platinum Jubilee Street Parties all over Bromley, and whether you are a royalist or not, the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee is a great opportunity to reclaim your street and get to know your neighbours better.

Source: The Travel Bunny

What should a street party look like? That is completely up to you, but it typically includes a celebratory meal, music, and games. Talk to your neighbours to find out what they would be interested in, and how they could contribute to the party. Playing Out, a resident-led movement that aims to make streets safer for children to play in, has a lot of ideas on how to use street space in new ways.

You can submit your application here, the deadline is Thursday 10 March:

The list below has links to resources about the Platinum Jubilee and how to organise a street party:

UK Government: The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee 2022
Royal Family: The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Central Weekend 2022
Government guide to organising a street party
The Street Party Site
Big Jubilee Lunch (Eden Project Communities)
London Play
Playing Out
London Car Free Day

Last Environment Committee meeting before the local elections!

Photo taken on Farnaby Road, Shortlands

Can you spare 5 minutes today to send a question to Bromley Council Environment Committee? Questions need to be submitted by 5pm on 7 March to be accepted for the committee meeting on 21 March – full details of how to submit questions can be found here, and information about the meeting can be found here

We in Bromley Living Streets think that asking questions to the Environment Committee is a very valuable way to let the Council know what matters to local people – particularly important to do, given that local elections are taking place on 5 May 2022. Environment Committee meetings are the place where Bromley Council’s projects and policies are scrutinised, and members of the public raising issues in this forum is an important part of local democracy and a key way of encouraging local councillors to take action. There are reasons to think that this part of Bromley’s local democracy is looking increasingly healthy and vigorous: 100 written public questions were answered in the November 2021 Environment meeting, and 68 written public questions were answered in the January 2022 Environment meeting. (Important context here is that a large proportion of those submitted to the November 2021 were on a single issue.)

So what should you ask questions about? That’s up to you, but we think a particularly useful starting point for drafting a question is to look at the Council’s response to questions asked in recent Environment committee meetings, and think about what new questions are raised by the Council’s response. some ideas you might want to consider. For example, in the ‘Written Questions from the Public’ document for the Environment meeting on 19 January 2022, the Council’s response to the first question provides detailed figures on the School Travel Plan (STARS) scheme and Bikeability training, but does not provide figures for the increase in walking and cycling during the period between 2020 and 2021. A useful follow-up question would be to ask for these figures, particularly given that recent data indicates that 32% of the borough’s emissions come from transport, which is relatively high for a London borough. (Another useful follow-up question would be to ask for evidence to support the Council’s claim that the increase in walking and cycling between 2020 and 2021 “was influenced by LBB’s Road Safety Education programme, School Travel Planning Initiatives and Cycle training”.)

Feel free to Blind Carbon Copy (BCC) us into your email when you submit your questions, or forward your submitted questions to us after sending them to, so that we are aware of the issues that have been raised.