Bold action needed! The outcome of third New Zealand Walking Summit 2021

Living Streets Aotearoa has issued a call to action to take the transformative steps necessary to meet the goals laid out in the Climate Change Commission report, following its third Walking Summit last week. Image with the Walking Summit 2021 logoSummit attendees and Living Streets alike are calling for action to achieve urban design objectives and transition us towards a world where sustainable, thriving, pedestrian-friendly communities are the norm, and getting from A to B by foot or wheelchair is a joy.
The Walking Summit began midway through a week of Covid concerns that put Wellingtonians back on high alert. The Summit team made the decision to move the conference online, to ensure everyone’s safety and make sure high-risk community members could attend comfortably — part of the team’s commitment to inclusive spaces.
Despite the lack of face to face contact, participants described the summit as uplifting and valuable, with a broad range of topics and vibrant speakers. "We had a great exchange of ideas even in the face of Covid19 adversity” said Aotearoa Living Streets president Andy Smith. “The Minister's message supported the changes that need to happen for more walkable places.”
To achieve the walk mode share increase outlined in the Climate Change Commission draft report we need to take action nationally and locally to support being a pedestrian and walking. This includes how we measure walking. Today, there are gaps in how pedestrian and walk trips are counted, and we can’t manage (or fund!) what we don’t measure.

To ensure that pedestrian journeys are a safe and convenient option for all members of our community, Living Streets call for best practice pedestrian infrastructure in all our public spaces to be funded, improved and accessible. “Accepted best practice” should be the minimum, not an aspiration, and all public spaces should be pedestrian-friendly.

The first significant pedestrian improvements for Wellington were announced during the Summit. With work due to start soon, Living Streets Aotearoa and Summit participants are excited for what’s next. 

Presentations from the New Zealand Walking Summit will be available on video and can be found at soon.

Image of people walking across a Wellington pedestrian crossing as part of a walkshop

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About Us

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.

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