A range of programmes and initiatives are in place in Hackney to encourage physical activity across all ages in the local population, as detailed below.

  • Planning policies. Local planning policies (such as policy DM3) stipulate that development should promote physical activity through facilities to support walking and cycling, open space and landscaping, and ensuring local facilities are easily accessible on foot or by bicycle1 See Society and environment chapter of the JSNA for more details.
  • Hackney’s Walking Plan, a sub-plan of the Transport Strategy, aims to support greater numbers of trips on foot over the next ten years (see Society and environment chapter of the JSNA chapter for more detail).
  • Hackney Council runs free basic cycle orientation classes in parks, organises bike rides to make cycling sociable and fun, and can loan bikes to residents for short periods to help them try out cycling. The council also supports the development of local infrastructure (such as cycle storage facilities) and routes to make cycling easier. Again, see ‘Society and environment’ chapter.
  • Leisure centres. GLL operates seven council-owned leisure centres in Hackney, which have 42,000 members and are used over 100,000 times a month.

Similarly, the following whole population approaches are in place in the City of London.

  • Planning policies. For example, the City of London Local Plan includes a commitment to improve conditions for safe and convenient walking and cycling.
  • Walking and cycling. There are a number of redevelopment programmes underway in the City to improve the environment for walking as well as cycling (again, see ‘Society and environment’ JSNA chapter for more detail). The City of London Corporation also offers cycle training for both residents and City workers to improve their cycling skills and increase their confidence. Cycle training is also provided to all schools in the Square Mile. The City Air app is designed to aid pedestrians in finding low pollution routes for walking – the app is available to download online.2 Living Streets also provides ‘Walk Doctor’ surgeries free of charge to City companies, to help employees incorporate walking into their daily journeys.
  • Leisure centre. Golden Lane Sport and Fitness Centre offers a wide range of both indoor and outdoor sports and activities.



  1. London Borough of Hackney, “Development Management Local Plan (adopted July 2015),” 2015.
  2. I. Lee, E. J. Shiroma, F. Lobelo, P. Puska, S. N. Blair and P. T. Katzmarzyk, “Effect of physical inactivity on major non-communicable diseases worldwide: an analysis of burden of disease and life expectancy,” The Lancet, vol. 380, no. 9838, pp. 219-229, 2012.