Creating Healthy Streets: A Policy Template

Healthy streets and people walking on footpaths in Pune

What are Healthy Streets

Streets are the lifeline of a city. They are meant to facilitate the movement of people across the city every day. Streets also act as important public spaces that provide different social, economic, and recreational opportunities for people from various walks of life, young and old, rich and poor, the able and the disabled.

But streets in our cities have been reduced to mere conduits for the movement of automobiles. This has made walking, cycling, or using public transport less desirable. On the other hand, driving personal motor vehicles has become the most desirable choice.

‘Healthy Streets’ are designed for people where everyone can move around easily. Healthy Streets create healthy cities where citizens choose to walk, cycle, and use public transport—modes of transport that keep them and our planet healthy. These streets can act as vibrant public spaces. They improve the quality of life of everyone, especially the underprivileged, by allowing them to spend quality time outdoors.

Healthy Streets Policy Template

A Healthy Streets Policy sets the vision, goals, and steps to transform streets into safe, attractive, and comfortable spaces. It lays out different initiatives citizens can expect from the city in the coming years to achieve this vision. The policy heralds a change in the city’s focus by committing to a long-term strategy to transform its streets in collaboration with its citizens.

The Healthy Streets Policy is centred around three key principles:

  • Equity: To include all groups, especially the vulnerable and the marginalised.
  • Sustainability: To meet the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations.
  • Quality of Life: To promote dignity and improve the quality of life for everyone.

This policy template created by UrbanWorks gives cities a starting point for developing their respective Healthy Streets policies. Cities are encouraged to build upon this template while maintaining the basic ethos.

Note: This policy template was previously shared with cities participating in the India Cycles4Change and Streets4People Challenges launched by the Smart Cities Mission of the Government of India. UrbanWorks asserts its claim of authorship of this knowledge product that it developed during the period it managed the ITDP India Programme (2016-2021) under the aegis of a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two institutions.

What do you think about the Healthy Streets Policy template? Write to us about what you think at You can learn more about us and the causes we support by following us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Related Blogs