Early on the morning of Walk to Work Day, 8 March, the Wellington branch of Living Street Aotearoa staffed a stand on Wellington waterfront and asked passers-by about walking to work.
Living Streets Aotearoa is calling on the Government to develop a New Zealand Walking Strategy. We are faced with many global and local issues that would be improved if more people walked more often and yet there is no coordinated action to increase walk mode share or maintain the current conditions for pedestrians. Living Streets wants to see Government step up in a coordinated cross-agency way to improve walking and the place of pedestrians in policy, plans and action to benefit society and the places we live. We urgently need a future focused Aotearoa New Zealand Walking Strategy.
Judith A. Davey
Walk2Work Day – what the Wellington walkers said
Walk2Work Day is our national day to celebrate walking, held in March the once a year chance to say ‘ka pai’ for choosing to look after body and mind, our community and the planet. Wellington turned on one of it's bracing mornings with a blast of wind to help turn the smiles on as people walked along. Even the Minister of Transport got in on the act but missed out on breakfast!
Thanks for your continued support for pedestrians and walking in this most exceptional of years. Living Streets Aotearoa stepped up to the challenges and opportunities in a number of novel ways, continuing to provide a voice from an entirely volunteer-run organisation. Here is a short round-up of our activity this year with a Wellington hat on.
LGWM Golden Mile options are looking up
Wellingtonians have long said we want to keep our compact walkable city, building better on the good we have. Since our Covid19 lockdown experiences we have come to understand how pleasant low traffic, quiet and social our public streets can become, with the main sounds being people talking and birds twittering. People in densely populated areas needed those local walks to green parks or the seaside. This idea of how our city could be is the silver lining to the distress of the pandemic.
Going for a walk has become the great outing in these last few weeks, eagerly anticipated by many as the highlight of the day. We expect to head out and return safely having had a pleasant experience. Seeing the sights, nodding to people as we 2-metre-pass, and getting our essential physical activity in. We will need to keep the 2 metre distance for some time so will expect footpaths to remain safe and clear for walking. Our footpaths and parks will need to support the Covid19 walk.
Check out this podcast on Access Radio No Labels, as we explore the issues facing pedestrians and our footpaths in 2019. Are we moving forwards to a bright future of safe, pleasant footpaths and pedestrian friendly public spaces, or are we steering in a different direction? What action can we take to support walking, and why is it important. Thomas and Ellen explore some of these important issues about accessibility and better places for us to live.
Yes we do need to start the journey to a more walkable future, for our health, the planet, the economy and just because walking is fun and social. There are some really fantastic projects internationally that we could take bits from and adapt to what we want in New Zealand - its all about what we want after all. That vision is required from the top nudged along by us. Some of the first steps have already been taken with footpath maintenance funding now available and a revised Government Policy Statement on Transport. We need to see that turned into action on our streets.
Women and walking in New Zealand
New Zealand women love to walk. At least that is what the data shows. Walking is good for physical and mental health, for getting out as part of the community, and for our planet. However, in the last few months media stories have suggested the opposite. Walking (or wheel-chairing) is the usual way people get around and is part of every trip, so what’s going on?
Living Streets Aotearoa is the New Zealand organisation for people on foot, promoting walking-friendly communities. We are a nationwide organisation with local branches and affiliates throughout New Zealand.
We want more people walking and enjoying public spaces be they young or old, fast or slow, whether walking, sitting, commuting, shopping, between appointments, or out on the streets for exercise, for leisure or for pleasure.