There are 8 Steps that a Mayor can take to achieve a walkable city.

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Walk21 provides training to support a city through these steps illustrated with international examples from other cities. In summary, a Mayor needs to communicate a vision for the city that values walking and liveability; commit to the principles of putting pedestrians first; commission research on walking behaviour and current walkability conditions; promote public participation in planning and in public life; review policies, standards and regulations; and encourage interdisciplinary collaboration to deliver the vision.

Guide for mayors who want to create walkable cities

Walk21 provides workshops and training to support Mayors with the delivery of the 8 Step process.

The support has already proven helpful in: Conception, Chile; Medellin, Colombia; Dhaka, Bangladesh; Manila, The Philippines; Manchester, UK; Nairobi, Kenya; Kampala, Uganda; and Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

The 8 Steps

Sign The International Charter for Walking.

The International Charter for Walking is a common policy reference with 8 key principles and 34 illustrative actions, developed by experts from more than 35 countries. It has been signed by over 5,000 politicians, academics, experts and community leaders and is a visible commitment to meeting the needs of people walking.

Commission research into walking behaviour to understand existing walking activity

By assessing the behaviour of people walking and measuring walking activity in the city, in varied urban environments and among different social groups, the effectiveness of different design factors in promoting walking can be understood. Walkability criteria can be refined and tested. The International Walking Data Standard allows the demand for walking to be measured in a consistent way.

Involve the public through participation in the planning process and city activities.

Engage local communities to map their needs so that targeted actions can then respond at relevant locations with appropriate measures to benefit those with the greatest need. Involving the public is crucial to success. City events can be organised to focus on the walking experience. Our tools allows the public to share their walking experiences so that areas of concern in a city are visible by age, ability and gender. For example we used our STRIDE tool in the City of Medellin in partnership with FundaPeatón, to engage with local school children. This tool has been further developed into the

Commission an assessment of current walkability.

It is important to understand the conditions for every district of the city, and then develop policies and plans for the total pedestrian environment. Establishing a Pedestrian Potential Index and a Deficiency Index, can be useful to help evaluate each street segment in the city. The indices reveal patterns of potentials and needs which can be used to inform new policies and plans. There are 16 International Qualitative Measures which have been set to evaluate Walkability. Walk21 is developing an International Walking Audit Tool to help with this step.

Review policies, standards and regulations to enable walkability.

Street design standards to support walking and the zoning for mixed land use, parking standards, and subdivision standards need to respond to the needs of people on foot and promote walking first in the transport hierarchy. Walk21 is developing a Policy Audit Tool to help with this step.

Bring urban designers and transportation planners together to write a Walking Strategy.

A multi-disciplinary institutional framework for planning and delivering walking that is ambitious and adds new value to current levels of service requires leadership, partnerships, resources, commitment to research and training, and monitoring and evaluation. Urban designers and transportation planners are best placed to explore a variety of approaches to enhancing walkability in creative and experimental ways. Walk21 is supporting several countries and cities to develop effective National Walking Strategies and Walkable City Action Plans.

Identify a signature project or key intervention.

A key project e.g. creating a pedestrian plaza, or leading a behaviour change campaign can communicate vision and inspire action across the city, raise the value of walking and increase engagement with and understanding of the importance of walkability. Walk21 has written guidance on running a behaviour change campaign for walking and identified several city case studies of innovative walking initiatives that have significantly contributed to improving city walkability.

Ensure communities are walkable where there is the greatest need.

Sidewalks are the essential urban infrastructure that most meet the needs of people walking. Ensure, at the very least, that there are dedicated, safe and unobstructed sidewalks on all of the streets in neighbourhoods where people live and within 500 metres of the most walked places including transit hubs, education sites, health care facilities, retail areas, sport and leisure amenities and employment zones.