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Communities at breaking point: streets revealed as no-go areas

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21/08/2009 16:37:18

New research by our partner Living Streets shows our streets are in danger of losing the social function they have had in the past, as they are shifted from social hubs for the community.

A new report, recently released to mark the 80th anniversary of the formation of Living Streets (formerly the Pedestrians Association), has highlighted in stark detail how our streets have changed over the past eight decades ? with over a quarter of people knowing fewer than two of their neighbours and a huge reduction in the number of children playing out on the streets.

Their survey showed that:

?Almost half (49%) of children aged 5-10 never play out on their streets, a massive change from the freedom people now over 65 enjoyed when they were the same age. Nearly half (47%) of those asked played out every day of the week, and even their children ? now adults ? were only just behind them.

?67% of today?s parents who have young families opt to jump in the car or use public transport to go to supermarkets or general stores out of walking distance, a drastic change from the previous generation when 68% of people shopped at stores within walking distance, with one in five choosing to do their shopping in more specialist stores such as butchers and hardware stores.

?A number of negative changes were noted on our streets themselves, with 93% of pensioners noticing an increase in the volume of traffic and 78% noticing an increase in anti social behaviour. A shocking 12% of pensioners and 11% of parents of young children described their streets as 'dangerous'

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