Live Symposium How can research help deliver more walkable streets
Purpose:The purpose of this session is to foster a cross-disciplinary discussion on best ways to collaborate towards more walkable environments.
Walking as a mode of transport has many health and environmental benefits. The quality of the walking environment can play a role in people’s choice to walk and experience of walking. However, existing environments in many countries can discourage walking. Research and practice can team up for delivering environments that are supportive of healthy everyday physical activity, which would contribute to the visions of many cities aiming for liveability and better public health, but also align with the delivery of UN Sustainable Development Goals.
1. Awareness: examine differences in the definition of “walkable” environments that might exist between discipline
2. Collaboration: examine ways academia and practice can team up towards delivering better environments
3. Change: examine inspiring examples where environments were improved towards a better walkability and more walking, and potentials tools supporting this type of practice
The proposed symposium aims to tackle multidisciplinary perspectives on the components of “walkable” environments, so to uncover: quality of the walking realm is understood and informed; possible differences between disciplines and between research and practice, regarding what should be pursued, and how could these be bridged; ways to work together towards raising the interest towards delivering more walkable streets.
The participants and discussant invited form a group representing both practice and academia, and gather experiences from different continents and countries (namely US, UK, New Zealand and Australia). Their individual contributions will range from big picture strategic considerations to practical methodological ways forward and examples of best practice where researchers and practitioners collaborated towards street retrofit actions having delivered measurable walkability improvements. This symposium would be an occasion for a cross-disciplinary exchange between public health specialists and urban development practitioners and researchers. It would also provide a useful platform for the exchange of ideas between different geographical contexts and areas of practice.