Accessible, affordable and helpful tools have been designed to help value, measure and steer investment in walking
Walking is under valued everywhere, yet it is the most inclusive and low-carbon mode of transport. Even in the developed world there is a lack of data on walking trips and few robust datasets that can be used by cities to inform their investment decisions. This makes it difficult for planners and politicians to appropriately prioritise investments to improve walking conditions. In particular, standard ‘mode shift’ and ‘carbon reduction’ decision-making and funding priority models do not value the retention of existing walking levels and their associated benefits.
This is further compounded in least developing countries, especially in Africa, where there are major data gaps and transport planning is usually focused on road building for high volume transport. But the success of high volume passenger transport is dependent on people being able to access that transport and in cities all over the world, that means safer, more attractive and direct walking routes to stops and stations.
Walk21 continues to develop tools to help improve the understanding of the true value of walking and its contribution to realising the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement for climate. As well as the tools listed here, Walk21 is currently developing a new methodology for quantifying the benefits within projects so countries and cities, funders and communities can consistently identify and measure successful policies and practices.
We know that this is especially urgent for least developed countries where many millions of people already walk, so they can do so in safety, and build inclusive societies while managing carbon emissions. The benefits of a consistent approach will benefit walkers everywhere however.
The Walkability.app is a tool designed by Walk21 supported by Alstom Foundation and in partnership with CEDEUS Catholic University of Chile. It aims to engage communities all over the world to share their walking experiences and invite local and national authorities to respond to their concerns to that every walk is safe, accessible and welcoming.
Provide a platform for walkers to log how they feel when they are walking in their neighbourhoods. This information is used by decision-makers to guide investment in walking infrastructure within their cites.
The app invites citizens to share their walking experiences. Green (good), amber (concerns) or red (problems) can be mapped and a common set of icons help identify the dominant issues impacting the quality of the walking experience.