How can footfall and transport be used innovatively to generate income and improve environmental sustainability in the City?
This challenge has 4 key elements:
1.Footfall – how bustling and busy a place is with pedestrians;
2.Transport – getting about from A to B by motorised transport modes such as a car, vans or motorcycle or by more sustainable modes such as walking, cycling, buses and trains;
3.Income - attracting, saving or generating money in the city to help the local economy thrive; and
4.Environmental Sustainability – delivering quality of life whilst protecting the environment i.e reducing carbon emissions which contribute towards tackling climate change, improving air quality, recycling, energy and water conservation, renewable energy generation and protecting and enhancing the natural environment.
When we combine these four elements together this challenge is about finding an innovative way to generate money from footfall and / or transport modes in a way that will improve environmental sustainability in the city.
For this challenge we are focussing on the City Centre, inside the Walls, however, we are open to innovate ideas for any part of York.
Traditionally, motorised transport is a major user of polluting sources of energy. For example, many of us use petrol in our cars to run them. Unfortunately burning such fuels to power our cars can have a wide range of negative impacts on the environment creating air pollution from nitrogen oxides and particulates, and carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming and climate change.
Changing our reliance from polluting to non-polluting modes of transport is challenging enough, which is why the city already has programmes like Intelligent Travel York, and its predecessor Cycling City York. But doing this AND generating income from these changes is even more challenging and we need your innovative thinking!
As a city we are fortunate in having many advantages enabling sustainable travel to be a realistic option for a large proportion of our residents, York also has a particularly high proportion of people who cycle (15% ) and walk (15%) and car trip levels (driver & passenger) are also much lower than the regional and national average (Census 2001). In the city centre alone footfall in 2011 was just under 12 and a half million on Coney Street and eight and half million on Parliament Street.
Environmental impacts of transport
However, it is expected that there will be a significant growth in jobs and housing over the next 15 - 20 years. Such growth is likely to impact on the environmental sustainability of the city unless we can alter the way we travel and live.
Such growth is likely to increase the pressures on the transport network, which could lead to current levels of delay increasing and contributing to more carbon emissions and climate change and pollutants that affect local air quality and health.
By 2050 York’s carbon emissions are predicted to increase by up to 30%, currently 26% of York’s carbon emissions come from the transport sector and as a City we are committed to reducing carbon emissions by 40% by 2020.
In order to achieve this target the city is also committed to generating more clean energy from renewable energy sources such as solar energy, wind and hydro. However, there are other innovate ways to generate clean energy and we are actively seeking these too, such as generating energy from people as they walk!
York has also declared 2 Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) based on annual average nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels that are higher than the government guidelines.
A presentation with more background information on this challenge and the work currently happening across the city on sustainable transport and climate change is available to view by clicking on the link under attachments lower down the page.
What may be the benefits to tackling this challenge?
Depending on the solution, the benefits may include:
Less of this:
And more healthy people to enjoy a healthy environment
But how do we solve the challenge?
If you think you know how to tackle this challenge tell us.
For this challenge we are focussing on the City Centre, inside the City Walls, however, we are open to innovate ideas for any part of York. All we ask is that you stick to the challenge question and involve footfall / and / or Transport modes, income generation that will improve the local environment.
Here’s some ideas:
One such idea could be for example how we could generate energy from people as they walk. York’s footfall figures in the city centre are potentially a great untapped resource - in 2011 there were 12.5 million on Coney Street and 8.5 million on Parliament Street. Technology exists which can exploit all this movement and convert it into a renewable energy source – and potential income!
Ideas could be based around new technology or simply doing things differently or encouraging people or businesses to behave in a different way. For example, discounts could be offered at attractions for people arriving on push bikes – encouraging more cycling and potentially increasing visitor numbers.
Promising ideas will be investigated by experts, working with the originator and affected groups and, if plans are agreed, the Council has committed to make them reality.
Replies are closed for this discussion.
Hi everyone and welcome to Challenge 4!
As you know, York is a bustling city with a resilient economy and was voted the most beautiful city in 2011 (Bing 2011). However, significant growth in jobs and housing over the next 15 - 20 years is likely to impact on the environmental sustainability of the city. Such growth is likely to increase the pressures on the transport network, which could lead to current levels of delay increasing and contributing to more carbon emissions and climate change and pollutants that affect local air quality and health.
Challenge 4 focuses on expanding the work already underway to deal with the city’s transport and environmental challenges, and asks us all to find an innovative way to generate money from footfall /transport in a way that will improve environmental sustainability in the city. So get thinking!
why not have a 'sponsor a street' campaign where pedestrianisation of a street (or public realm improvements) is paid for in part by contributions from individuals:
Contributors could have their initials engraved on individual stone slabs, becoming immortalised in the fabric of this historic city.
Local residents could appreciate the benefits of their contributions on a daily basis, and people from further afield could visit York to track down their special contribution to improving the city.
Progress on delivering projects could be shown on a website, with a construction webcam and a map facility to track down whereabouts in the heart of the city your contribution is being made.
Thanks Ben for a great idea to start this challenge off.
I think it's a good idea for consideration, and links footfall, income and environmental improvement all together. I like the idea of linking it to some area of public realm / street that has planned work happening in it already. It might make most sense to try and use these opportunties as they arise. Care of course would need to be taken in terms of protecting any historic / visual impact of any areas involved, and also there would be pavement/highways issues to consider. Care would also need to be taken to not increase unnecessary street clutter. It might also fit with Re-invigorate York too. Keep them coming!
The answer is right there in the question. Make York an interesting place to walk and spend in.
PEDESTRIANISE THE ENTIRE CITY CENTRE ( and beyond ). Let Fossgate become "food street". Many of the so called pedestrianised streets in York like Coney Street always have stray taxis driving to fast or lost tourists. PUT UP CONGESTION CHARGE CAMERAS for these areas, for anyone daft enough.
PREVENT PEOPLE IN CARS FROM TRAVELING THROUGH YORK. This would be an awful lot easier if the ring road hadn't been such an half-arsed botch up from the start. It's often still a toss up about whether it's quicker to get from A19 north to A19 south by using the ring road or piling straight through town. Take traffic completely off Lendal and Ouse Bridge. Split the city into 2 or 3 sectors that you can easily get in and out to, and from there get to the station, hospital, a car park or transport links. I'm sure this is doable.
MAKE BUSES COST EFFECTIVE. Using Park and Ride to go the cinema with 3 daughters is a joke. It's quicker, easier and cheaper to use the car. So I do. I would use the bus if was free-ish, or a subscription of £10 a month would encourage me to use it ( and eventually resent it as I didn't use it, but oh well, it raises cash doesn't it? ).
ENCOURAGE MORE DIVERSE SHOPPING AND EXPERIENCES. Encourage independent traders ( like the markets in Parliament Street ). Nobody is coming to York to try our Gourmet Burger King or our Pizza Express. Be creative with low cost rents for local companies and startups. I hate shopping, but I've heard lots of people like it, and when they do it, they tend to be spending money. I do however, like food... I eat nothing else, and yet having tried GBK wouldn't bother again.
Why does anyone go anywhere? York is lucky in that it's a pretty city, but it seems to me at least that council could do more to make it a happening city, where stuff happens that people want to go to. This isn't just big obvious things, like a wheel ( yawn ) but maybe lots of smaller, more interesting things.
CHUCK IN A BORIS BIKE SCHEME and you're done...
So it's simple, just...
a. Get rid of cars, buses where possible and slow down the taxis. Because of York's unusual layout, this has to be radical.
b. Be creative with regards to what's actually in, and going on in, the city. Does anyone else find they also always miss something that's just happened. A better advertising / marketing of ALL events is needed too.
c. Support anyone with a good idea, no matter how small and give them a shop, or market stall or space or whatever.
d. Can you also sort out the bottom of Picadilly whilst you're on? The murmurs around something happening at the Bonding would fit nicely into this too.
That would increase footfall, raise income, be sustainable, ease pollution and traffic... all by doing the unthinkable... taking the car out of the equation.
Thanks Tom for such a comprehensive response and for the good ideas. I am please to say that most of what you suggest is being considered or planned. Here are some of the things partners in the City are working towards :
1- Roll out of a 20 MPH zone across the city (locations to be confirmed)
2- Plans to extend the footstreets - Fossgate will be the first street in the expansion.
3- In terms of car travel through the centre, this is also being looked at, and the long term ambition is to improve these issues both in the centre and through improvements to the ring road. Like most things funding is required for this.
4- In terms of congestion charging this has been looked at in the past and is not being considered at this time. However, in areas like Coppergate, camera enforcement is being investigated to reduce any misuse of the pedestrianised areas.
In terms of the non- transport related solutions you mention, again partners are working on towards:
5- Across the city there is support for new and existing businesses and right now a new Economic Strategy for the City is out for consultation which will further improve the situation for York start ups and businesses. Why not visit http://www.york.gov.uk/business/yes/ and have your say!
6- In terms of what’s going on in York I always find the York City of festival website a good place to start http://yorkfestivals.com/index.php?id=8. This year the city is uniquely celebrating York 800 which has many events to draw in resident and tourists visit www.york800.com
So lots happening but as you say more of these things would help tackle the challenge. We will add your suggestions to the list of proposed solutions. What then happens is that the best ideas submitted (before 6th March) will be invited to a workshop to look at the proposed solutions in detail and discuss feasibility in detail.
So my challenge to everyone is keep the ideas coming as we will be inviting the best to come along and discuss them further. I wonder if we can not come up with more innovative ways that will help the environmental improvement side of this challenge ?
Thanks for some pointers about what's actually happening...
I think my point is, that cars going THROUGH the city aren't doing the city any good at all. Take the cars out, increase the city centre area and increase the potential footfall areas. You might even get locals coming into town who would otherwise avoid the slow moving herds ( I know I do).
Whilst it'd be a pain in the arse for me on some journeys, I've pretty much given up on cutting through Gillygate to get to the A19 because of the congestion. Of course, improving the ring road would need loads of money and probably won't happen until it is too late, but closing the bridges might be something that could be done on the cheap. And locals complaining might be soothed with a car pass and increasing house prices and the traffic disappears from their front doors.
But this would need to happen with more creative stimulation of tourism/business. How about lock-up shops / coffee / etc all along Ouse Bridge? York is "startup-poor" and every effort needs to be made to address this. Make it easy for people to be entrepreneurial, and showcase more of those that already are.
The river is under-utilised in York considering its importance and beauty and is a natural extension to the city centre region of Coney St and Parliament St between it and the Minster. That would then make Micklegate sensibly "pedestrianisable" too.
York is both blessed and cursed with being a good place to defend with its rivers and walls ... it needs to change, it has to change and be more outward facing and let some of the chaos in for a change.
I only meant to write a sentence there, sorry :-)
Closing the bridges is no answer at all.
If you want to achieve this without damaging business, you cannot (even in the short term) reduce access to the city centre, because if you reduce the footfall, the businesses suffer. Whatever you do has tohave no detrimental impact on the city centre businesses. Therefore you have to prove that closing the bridges will definitely 100% NOT affect the businesses adversely.
It's no good assuming it, if you get my drift.
So what you're saying is...
a. I can't "just assume" things but you can ( that this will detrimentally impact on businesses ). This is like being asked to prove the non-existence of God.
b. You ignore the fact that there'd be X number of NEW businesses.
c. Nothing can change... ever.
Good luck with that approach. That approach is what helps keep this city in the bottom places for innovation and getting by on the fact that we have a few old buildings lying around. Bravo! :-)
If footfall decreases, businesses suffer. Every business knows this. If the bridges close and footfall decreases, then the experiment has failed, but the consequences are felt by the people who own businesses.
What I'm saying is that given this intended to have an effect on people's livelihoods, then we must be sure that it's a positive one. We cannot simply ASSUME that closing bridges is going to benefit the businesses. We need to know it before we do it.
If there are X number of new businesses, and the footfall decreases, where does that leave everyone?
As for c - well, that was a trifle...un-called for. By that argument we should all follow Andrew Lansley's NHS changes, just because it's change.
No, of course we need change, but not change without the facts to support the change.
Some interesting ideas from the States - and some potential stats on the economic benefits of doing transport differently..? http://t4america.org/blog/2011/02/04/new-report-shows-the-job-creat...
Here's some case studies from other cities who have revalmped transport systems all over the world (complete with glossy brochures and pretty people laughing!): http://inhabitat.com/our-cities-ourselves-ten-global-cities-redesig...
And i remember going to Bilbao a couple of years ago and being reall impressed with the joined up BilboBus branding, co-ordination (and high public subsidies).. http://www.bilbao.net
Sheffield Transport hack days..? http://opendata.thegisthub.net/2011/03/transport-hack-day-datasets
One last thing - with a population of 6 million people on the York to Liverpool route (give or take) it has always seemed ridiculous to me that we let the Pennines stand in the way of decent transport infrastructure - but that might be too much..!