Vivacity Labs, CRP partner to improve school street safety in Hackney

Vivacity Labs has teamed up with Cross River Partnership (CRP) to improve school street safety in Hackney as part of the Healthy Streets Everyday programme.

CRP’s Healthy Streets Everyday programme is a Mayor of London Air Quality-funded project to empower boroughs, businesses and communities across London to deliver pedestrian-priority healthy streets, increase walking rates and reduce emissions and exposure to toxic air.

A Vivacity sensor was installed outside Saint Scholastica’s Roman Catholic Primary School, Hackney, to collect anonymous data on different types of road users, helping local authorities better understand movement patterns. CRP’s Vivacity programme, which took place between 4th November and 31st December 2020, helped provide evidence that the School Streets scheme, which involves a section of road closed to vehicular traffic, was being used as planned and that the number of parents and children walking to school had increased.

Hackney’s School Streets programme expansion means that School Streets now cover more than 80% of Hackney’s primary schools and help over 15,000 children walk and cycle to school.

By running baseline surveys, then monitoring and evaluating the scheme post-implementation over the same time periods, Vivacity Labs is able to ensure consistency and objective assessment on whether a School Street zone has achieved its aims or if any changes need to be made. Accurate sensor data can answer multiple questions including whether congestion and speed have been reduced and whether a particular scheme has encouraged more cycling and walking.

Vivacity’s sensors use artificial intelligence and machine learning to capture anonymous traffic counts across a selected ‘count line’. These counts can show the interactions between pedestrians, cyclists and cars, for example. The data is completely anonymised, and each frame of video is deleted immediately after processing.

Mark Nicholson, CEO and co-founder at Vivacity Labs, said: “The pandemic has changed the way we travel and it’s never been more important for authorities to have accurate data that allows them to analyse new trends. We’re extremely proud to be supporting the implementation of initiatives that encourage active travel, lower pollution levels and help create healthier streets.

“We are particularly pleased to be supporting the London Borough of Hackney as it looks to improve its street health, and we look forward to seeing the continued positive impact on the local community following our work with Cross River Partnership.”

Fiona Coull, project manager, CRP, added: “Our partnership with Vivacity Labs has gone a long way in making streets safer, smarter and more sustainable. Cross River Partnership look forward to continuing working with boroughs, businesses and authorities across London through the Healthy Streets Everyday programme to prioritise healthy streets for all.”

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