As one of the worlds leading cities, London is under increasing pressure to pave the way in key societal challenges such as the future of transport, physical activity and urban mobility. This coupled with the strain that comes through increased urban growth, has become the foundation for new strategies across the capital. The Mayors Transport Strategy seeks to promote active travel with the goal to make Londoner the world’s most walkable city. By 2041, the aim is for all Londoners will achieve at least two ten-minute periods of active travel per day and 80% percent of all journeys will be made on foot, by cycle or using public transport.
However, this is by no-mean a London centric issue. With more and more of the world flocking to cities, designing and creating sustainable ways for people to move has never been so important. It was this knowledge that spurred on the creation of Active Things (previously known as Run Friendly). The company was deigned to create the digital infrastructure for urban mobility using technology to tackle key challenges around active travel. The companies first objective was to remove one of the key barriers around active travel – access to showers.
Active Things sought to remove barriers to active travel. Their product aimed to:
- Create a system that could overcome common active travel barriers across London
- Motivate London’s population to run, walk or cycle to their destinations
- Provide additional income routes for hotels, gyms and leisure operators
- Improve the capitals air quality by encouraging Londoners to walk, run or cycle to destinations
They came to Sport Tech Hub for support around accessing new networks.
Within the first year of working with Active Things we had introduced to London based leisure providers (Everyone Active and GLL), active travel teams in highlighted local authorities (Southwark, Lambeth, Westminster, Brent, Camden, Ealing, Hillingdon, Hackney, Harrow and Haringey) and corporates (PwC and Decathlon). This resulted in a large network of facilities that covered over a third of London boroughs supporting Active Things “Shower-On-Demand” service.
With over 800+ users a month (since October 2019), 99% of users state that Active Things enabled them to run or cycle more easily/often.
Active Things has continued to build out their service to include London’s most comprehensive list of places to safely store your bike and have formed partnerships with NCP and Nike to continue their growth. Active Things already have several areas lined up to continue their expansion with interest from Exeter, Greater Manchester, Brighton, Glasgow and the West Midlands Combined Authority area.