Making The Case For Active Travel

Glasgow's Active Travel Demonstrator aims to show how technology can help make the city friendlier to cyclists and pedestrians - encouraging people to get active as they go about their daily lives. As with many UK cities, Glasgow faces the challenge of how to encourage people to adopt active travel and provide the necessary facilities and services to aid this need.

The imperative to act is clear. Encouraging active travel uptake among citizens addresses the dual aims of improvement to congestion & environment and the all important issue of improving public health. There are many ways in which a Future City can look to improve active travel access and our demonstrator aims to put Glasgow at the leading edge, making physical activity a part of people’s daily routines and deriving health benefits across the city.

The Cycling App

Our Future Cities project was committed to putting the people of Glasgow at the heart of everything we do. So when looking to encourage cycling we wanted to provide an easy platform for cyclists to share their experiences of cycling within the city - opening up this data to other users and allowing us to target specific and effective improvements to the cycling network based on real user data. The Glasgow Cycling App provides a platform for cyclists to map how they move around the city. Using the app, cyclists can record their routes - capturing and publishing their journeys. Using the data collected, other users can access information on the best routes around the city allowing them to better plan journeys and encouraging more uptake of cycling. The project part funded two posts to promote the app, and this approach to crowd sourcing data. Better way to work is hosted through the Glasgow Bike Station and the Bike Club through the Cycling Touring Club (CTC) and Youth Scotland.

Phone app
Route Capture

Capture your cycle route on the app as you ride and share your journey with other users. The more data collected, the more valuable and rich the app experience becomes.


The Walking App

Why do we walk? To get to point A/B/C, or to explore and discover new or favourite places. This idea of discovery, or rediscovery, was the inspiration behind the Glasgow Walking app. Glasgow is a city of many stories, many only known within communities. The Walking app took many of the heritage walks in the city and ported them into an app, that would encourage residents and visitors to explore the city’s neighbourhoods and parks on foot. The most innovative aspect of this project is the back end, where the simple to use admin portal allows users to upload new attractions, walks and apps. This allows a wide variety of groups (community councils, Friends Of groups) to take control of writing content and sharing their knowledge. The legacy of this is already happening, with new apps being developed in collaboration with the Scottish Jewish archive, Glasgow Film office and Doors Open Day Glasgow.

walking app
The Walks

Select from a range of walks throughout the city - from historical sites to nature trails. Discover hidden gems within the city and associated information and images.

Exploring Additional Apps

Working with a range of partners, we have been exploring how the technology platforms developed for our active travel apps can be opened up and developed for extended use.

Doors Open Day

We partnered with Glasgow Doors Open Day to create an app for this annual event. Using the walking app platform as a technology base we created an iOS and Android app to help guide people around the venues and attractions featured in the Doors Open Day programme.


Future City Glasgow has funded a Sustrans project to develop a cycle route auditing tool for smartphones. The project has allowed Sustrans staff working within the council to work with developers to deliver a product that allows them to track, assess and rate cycle routes all from their phone. Initially an IOS app, the project is now developing an android version that will allow Sustrans to trial the app across the UK.


University Research Studies

Future City Glasgow collaborated with Glasgow University Urban Big Data centre The Integrated Multimedia City Data project will look at a large sample of residents in the city, and gauge their attitudes, values, behaviours and literacy across a number of topic areas, including transport, sustainability, learning and ICT. This will be combined with an extensive multimedia trawl to investigate whether this contextual data impacts on behaviours. In particular the project will look at how travel choices are affected by these.

Future City Glasgow has also collaborated with Aberdeen University on a research project that looks at how data collected through different apps and portals can help populations in rural, urban and periurban areas to highlight barriers (infrastructure, policy and personal) to taking up active travel modes. The data repository from this research will be used to implement behavioural change models.

Glasgow University
Aberdeen University

Safe Routes To Schools Programme

The project is working on developing an online Travel Plan portal for schools. This should help our young people engage more fully in planning their travel choices for getting to school, and to look at some of the travel issues that affect their school on a daily basis.

Currently this is carried out as a paper exercise in individual schools. By developing an online city wide portal, schools will find it easier to learn from each other, and help the city have a strategic look at the issue of getting to schools, safely and actively.