Newly launched Active Neighbourhood Scans will bring people together to create happy, healthy, and active places to live

Newly launched Active Neighbourhood Scans will bring people together to create happy, healthy, and active places to live

Posted: Wed, 23 Aug 2023 09:04

Newly launched Active Neighbourhood Scans will bring people together to create happy, healthy, and active places to live

Oxfordshire is the second most unequal county in the country, with 10 of 83 wards being within the top 20% most deprived areas in the country, and have low outcomes in terms of childhood obesity and physical and mental health in adults. People in lower socioeconomic groups are twice as likely to be inactive as those in the highest socioeconomic groups, and children in low-income families are 30% more likely to be inactive than those in high-income families.

Physical activity plays a huge role in health and wellbeing, and the environment around you can affect how easy and possible it is to be physically active.

At Active Oxfordshire, we take a place-based approach with the aims of creating equal opportunities in priority neighbourhoods where access to activity may be more difficult and where residents face more barriers to physical activity. We want to create communities that are happy, healthy, and active, and Active Neighbourhood Scans can support with this.

What are Active Neighbourhood Scans?

Active Neighbourhood Scans seek to identify opportunities to make small, public space improvements that enable residents to be active more easily where they live. They are scans of different routes within each priority neighbourhood across Oxfordshire to fully understand how easy it is to walk, wheel, and be active within these neighbourhoods.

The scans are intended to compliment work already happening across the county. We will proactively seek to work in partnership with other organisations to bring together resources and put ideas forward for improvements based on insight from the scans, to have a greater impact on communities.

What does an Active Neighbourhood Scan look like?


The Active Oxfordshire team took part in their own Active Neighbourhood Scan in Kidlington to test out the tool.

In pairs and small groups, we took different routes, taking us to parks, schools, leisure centres, and other community spaces in the area. On our scans, we looked out for:

  • Opportunities to create community cohesion with small public space changes
  • Enablers and barriers to walking, wheeling, and cycling
  • Challenges which people of all ages may face in their neighbourhood
  • Accessibility and safety concerns
  • Any changes which could be made to make the route more accessible, safe, or easier to be active


As well as being mindful of challenges and changes to be made, Active Neighbourhood Scans are also a brilliant way to see what amazing facilities and spaces already exists in the area, from giant sculptures made from recycled materials and engaging zoo trails for young children, to sensory playground equipment and open green spaces. They are also an exciting chance to imagine the potential in the area to create more opportunities to be active.


There will be two Active Neighbourhood Scan events in September!

As part of Oxfordshire on the Move, September will see the first two Active Neighbourhood Scan sessions in Blackbird Leys and Banbury Ruscote and Neithrop:

Tuesday 12th September, Blackbird Leys
Friday 22nd September, Banbury

Both events are open to the local communities, including residents, organisations, planners, developers, and schools, with the hopes of obtaining invaluable information on the area to then collaborate with other groups to bring about positive changes.

For more details about the events, and to register to ensure your voice is heard, please click here.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with Ellie –


Tags: Active Communities, Active Neighbourhood Scans, Active Neighbourhoods, Active Travel, Blackbird Leys, Oxford. Banbury, Oxfordshire on the Move, Physical Activity