Place standards toolkit

1.0 Introduction

The Place Standard tool is an online portal that allows a simple but effective way for the public and interested organizations to assess the ‘physical elements of a place’. The tool involves undertaking place-based questions to best understand the needs of the community. The output is a spider chart graphic showing the scoring in each of the 14 criteria the user assesses.

The tool is designed to enable a conversation on the aspects of the community that work, and those aspects that could do with changing, replacing or improving. It is not the whole process but a part of the process of understanding and developing our communities to best meet the needs of the people that live there. This process can include transport issues such as access, accessibility, and transport poverty.

CoMoUK believe that the Place Standard tool is an excellent tool to assess the issues, both positive and negative, around place and the planning of place. We would like to see the user of the Place Standard tool assess their place with an awareness of the principles of shared transport and active travel. The user of the Place Standard tool is defined within the guide to the tool as:

“communities, the public sector, the third sector (voluntary and non-profit organisations), and the private sector. People will want to use the tool in different circumstances and for different purposes, but it allows people to work together productively and consistently across sectors and boundaries.”

Shared transport offers huge opportunities to improve a town or local area. The removal of private cars can make streets cleaner, quieter, and safer. Recent CoMoUK research suggests that bike share users have reduced their car use by 41% through joining a bike share scheme. The elimination of CO₂ emissions from private cars can go a long way to achieving our net-zero carbon targets by 2045. Vehicular emissions currently account for around 20% of CO₂e emissions in the UK. Active travel promotes health and well-being and the coming together of communities to enjoy these activities.

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CoMoUK have published this document to take the discussion around place one step further. It encourages users of the tool to understand and consider shared transport responses in their Place Standard tool assessment. By bringing shared transport into an assessment of placemaking, we enable better outcomes around connectivity; reduce transport poverty and remove carbon from the transport mix.

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