Walk21 started in 2000 with a conference in London and the conference has been held every year since, in different cities around the world.

The Walk21 International Conference series on Walking and Liveable Communities celebrates the work of our speakers and delegates on an international scale as well as promoting the international profile of walking.

Discover the impact that we have on walking, our legacy and how to get involved by hosting our next conference. See our conference library data base where we share all our knowledge from our Walking and Liveable Communities conference series.

We held our 23rd conference in Kigali, hosted by the University of Rwanda, in partnership with the City of Kigali, UNEP and Walk21 Foundation. Here are some of the highlights of the conference series over the past 23 years!

Past conferences… Kigali (2023), Ireland (2022), Seoul (2021), Rotterdam (2019), Bogota (2018), Calgary (2017), Hong Kong (2016), Vienna (2015), Sydney (2014), Munich (2013), Mexico City (2012), Vancouver (2011), The Hague (2010), New York (2009), Barcelona (2008), Toronto (2007), Melbourne (2006), Zurich (2005), Copenhagen (2004), Portland (2003), San Sebastian (2002), Perth (2001) and London (2000).

The international conference series aims to

  1. Celebrate the importance of walking by engaging politicians, multi disciplinary teams and the community
  2. Advance the international agenda to further help everyone in the world choose to walk.
  3. Impact the local walking legacy that helps streets be safer, easier and more enjoyable; more inclusive for people of every age, ability, gender and income; making people healthier, more connected and valued.

The impact

Rotterdam 2019: create a walking strategy that focuses on place making.

Bogota 2018: greater equity in walking infrastructure achieved through a public space festival and public outreach program.  

Calgary 2017: a collaboration with the city and the academics at the city university resulting in an award winning strategy for walking.

Hong Kong 2016: government investment in comfort and safety to engage the elderly in a three year program called ‘Walk Hong Kong’.

Vienna 2015: promote walking through a year of walking events, campaigns and a continuous mobility agency.

Sydney 2014: support walking more through strategy and projects on the ground that improve congestion.

Munich 2013: a biannual German National Walking Congress that reviews national walking strategy.


Benefits for a host city

  • Generate momentum in city initiatives and policies by publicising walking, urban transport and presenting papers.
  • Engage multiple disciplines that brings together city administration, external professionals and walking groups to foster new networks and partnerships.
  • Learn from the broader international community through positive policies, examples and receiving reactions to future plans.
  • Celebrate the future of walking and raise the international profile of the host city as well as their plans for giving walking a better future.

Would you like to host a Walk21 conference?

Hosting a Walk21 event is ideally part of plans to improve the sustainability and quality of life in the city by making the city more walking friendly. In all phases of the process (preparation, conference week and evaluation) the city will benefit from a boost to the profile of walking in the city, development of walking initiatives and engagement across the local authority.  City departments will be motivated to showcase their work on walking and to deliver real change.  All the cities that have hosted the conference have been able to develop their provision for walkers.