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Open Streets

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Greater Manchester has signed up to the Open Streets movement; a programme of events that temporarily open streets to people by closing them to cars.

The Open Streets concept started in the USA in 2011 and aims to improve the quality of life for people by bringing residents together to create more vibrant and healthy communities.

Since then, a host of cities worldwide including New York, Paris, Madrid and more recently Edinburgh have hosted regular events ranging from street parties and festivals to using the events as a way to temporarily reconfigure streets so that they work for people first. Streets can even be used to host performances, open air fitness classes and giant chess games.

Open street events are a way to turn your street into a safe and vibrant space for residents and neighbours to come together, to take ownership of your street and enjoy activities of your choice.

The events are led and managed by you, the residents and involve temporary closures of residential streets to through traffic.

Transport for Greater Manchester has launched a new 10-step toolkit to help residents and communities who are interested in hosting an Open Streets event.

As well as accessing the toolkit, residents interested in hosting events can loan equipment including diversion signage and temporary filtering items such as planters from Transport for Greater Manchester. Get in touch with the Sustainable Journey’s team for more details for more details.

Additional information and resources can also be found at Playing Out CIC is national organisation championing and supporting community led street play.

The roll out of temporary street closures was one of the steps identified in Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s Made to Move report, authored by the city-region’s Cycling and Walking Commissioner, Chris Boardman.

An Open Streets event is a perfect way to bring a community together to enjoy their local streets in a new and different way – be it for play, places to sit and socialise a street party or even a sports day.

The benefits to local communities can be powerful enough to inspire permeant reconfiguration of streets so that they prioritise the movement of people over the movement of cars. This is often known as creating ‘filtered’ or ‘active’ neighbourhoods.

"I hope as many communities as possible across Greater Manchester embrace the Open Streets concept and experience how a street can be transformed, even just for one day."

Chris Boardman
Greater Manchester’s Cycling and Walking Commissioner


Downloadable Resources

10 step toolkit

This guidance has been prepared by Transport for Greater Manchester to help you work out what steps you need to take to hold an Open Streets event in your community.

10 step toolkit

Poster templates

These are posters that can be used to promote and advertise your events

Planning meeting poster

Event poster

Monitoring and evaluation

Collecting simple data on your event can help you understand how it went, and show what the impact of the event was.

Guidance for organisers

Participant survey