Walk21 Munich update
Canada Walks' Director Jacky Kennedy is just back from the Walk21 conference, hosted by the City of Munich
Wonderful sums it all up! Munich is a very pretty, green city
and so easy to get around on foot with excellent transit services. It was great to catch up with all of our international walking colleagues and hear all of their news. Congratulations to the organizing team for Munich Walk21 2013. Hope to see everyone in October 2014 in Sydney, Australia!!
Over 500 delegates attended, 16 from Canada. See the photos from the conference .
Munich celebrates Walk21: Canada Walks' Jacky Kennedy with Walk21's Bronwen Thornton at the Munich Rauthaus (City Hall)
Canada Walks was an active participant in the conference: Jacky was a corresponding member of the program committee; presented two papers, one on Children's Mobility in Canada and another on WALK Friendly Ontario. Canada Walks also hosted a pre-conference workshop as part of the Walk21 Munich activities and it was well attended with representatives from Germany, U.S.A., Poland, Romania, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Austria, Australia and, of course, Canada.
The children's mobility issues and challenges we face here in Canada are the same ones experienced all around the world - children are less active than their parents, more and more families choose only their car to get around, and there is an overwhelming perception that streets are unsafe for children. However, despite these common challenges, they present some great opportunities to reverse this trend and through international collaboration and sharing of best practices we can create a strong momentum for change. Stay tuned for action from this group and let us know if you wish to participate.
|Biking to school is more common than driving in Germany|
A common theme throughout the entire conference was an awakening by local authorities that active transportation, especially walking, are important to the health and economic vibrancy of our towns and cities, yet funding from all government levels continues to be lacking. We heard that transportation should be considered within the context of the social determinants of health and that significant public health benefits can accrue when investments in active travel are made.
Conference venue - Deutsches Museum's
Transport Centre (Verkehrszentrum)
|Enjoying the festivities|
One of the most entertaining and inspiring keynote presentations was from Jason Roberts
from Dallas, Texas. Jason is the founder of the Oak Cliff Transit Authority, originator of the Better Block Project, co-founder of the Art Conspiracy and Bike Friendly Oak Cliff, and a recent candidate for U.S. Congress. Jason shared his journey with the group, from founding the Oak Cliff Transit Authority, which successfully garnered a $23M US federal grant to reintroduce a modern streetcar system from downtown Dallas to Oak Cliff. Jason's unique ability to take an idea and turn it into reality is truly remarkable. The Better Block Project has been adapted by communities across the U.S. and around the world, which all started when Jason used his creativity to revitalize a long abandoned theatre in his neighbourhood thereby inspiring community members into action. See Jason's Ted Talk.
We heard about the One Neighbourhood, 1 month, 0 cars! initiative that took place in Suwon, South Korea, during September as part of the EcoMobility World Festival 2013. Read the stories and experiences from this amazing event, organized by ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability), UN Habitat, and the City of Suwon. Walk21's Bronwen Thornton was a presenter and participant:
"The Suwon Eco-mobility festival, a car-free neighbourhood for a whole month, was a bold undertaking by for a forward thinking city administration. It was lovely to walk around the refurbished streets and enjoy the additional festival elements, such as artworks, cafes and street theatre. It reminded me of towns all over the world with car free/low car neighbourhoods at their hearts, such as Gamla Stan in Stockholm, the medinas of Morocco or Dubrovnik inside the castle walls, neighbourhoods that were built to human scale and must manage vehicles out of the space. So it is not an unique concept but it provides us with a sense of what's possible and how to get there, as we begin the social shift needed to move towards more sustainable mobility patterns in our cities. And in answer to the inevitable question, I said: I think the cars will come back, but hopefully the experience of the festival, the newfound joy in the public spaces and the physical improvements to the street scape will temper the extent to which vehicles are allowed to overtake the neighbourhood again."
-Ms Bronwen Thornton
An interesting session presented on Walking for Life - Norway's National Walking Strategy. Commissioned by the Norwegian Government, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA)'s plan, will have two main objectives:
* Walking should appeal to everyone
* More people should walk more
Principles and targets of the strategy will include: 80% of children walking to school; creating the'10 minute' city - where trips can be made through a continuous network; and undertaking universal design principles to achieve their goals. A 2009 travel survey showed that 16% of Norwegians did not report any journeys on foot, while 68% reported walking for part of their journey. The average Norwegian walks approximately 1.7 km/day; 51% walk less than 500 m per day (including walking to other means of transport); while 19% walk 1.5 km or more. Wouldn't it be something if Canada were to undertake a national walking strategy or even if our individual provinces undertook this work!
Throughout the conference there was general agreement that far more attention needs to be paid to vulnerable road users - children and seniors - and that walking should be a human right and given the highest priority in transportation planning. One speaker noted that by 2050 22% of the world's population will be over 60; planning and developing walking infrastructure to allow older persons to stay active in their communities will be key to reducing soaring global health costs and allowing people to stay in their homes much longer. See video from Transport Forum.
Mayors sign the International Charter for Walking. Hep Monatzeder, Mayor of Munich; Miguel Anxo F. Lores, Mayor of Pontevedra; Ahmet Omi, Mayor of Shkodra; Graham Jahn, Development & Transport, Sydney. and Jim Walker, Walk21
Canada Walks Around the country:
In addition to Walk21 Munich, over the past few months we have visited and presented at:
Canadian Institute of Planners INFUSE conference
, July 6-8, 2013 in Vancouver, BC. Canada Walks made a joint presentation on School Lesson: Transportation, Healthy Kids, and School Site Selection, with Mark Seasons of University of Waterloo and Janet Barlow from Nova Scotia's Ecology Action Centre. A highlight of the conference was speaker Candy Chang
, artist, designer, urban planner and author of an inspiring project, Before I Die, to be released later this year. The session Oh Canada: Canadian Urbanism from Coast to Coast, chaired by David Gordon from Queen's University noted that recent research points out that Canada is actually more suburban than urban, with cities like Montreal having 78% population living in suburbia, 16% in the 'active core' and 6% are ex-urban (rural). Nationally 67% of Canadians live in suburbia, which creates a distinctively Canadian urbanism compared to other countries like the UK and Australia
* Canada Walks WALK Friendly Program Manager and Geoff Noxon of Noxon Associates led a walkability workshop and facilitated walking audits in three communities in the Municipality of Trent Hills - Hastings, Warkworth and Campbellford. The walkability event was organized by the Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit with enthusiastic support from municipal stakeholders.
* Kate Hall and Don Grant, Grant Consulting, co-presented How Walkable is your Town? at the Ontario Eastern Municipalities conference in Kingston.
* Kate was one of four presenters in a walking related webinar hosted by ParticipACTION. Co-presenters were Heart and Stroke Foundation of Nova Scotia, Alberta Health Services and the BC Medical Association.
Canada Walks Webinar Series: Bikeability for School Children. Review the archive of this well attended webinar, with featured speakers Peter Zanzottera of Steer Davies Greave in the UK; Kerry Hamilton of HASTe BC in Vancouver; Eleanor McMahon of Share the Road in Ontario; and Sasha Alexov of Physical and Health Education Canada in Ottawa. Please join us in a Canadian discussion on bicycle education for children; every child has the right to choose safe and enjoyable mobility in their neighbourhoods and, when combined with the right infrastructure, cycling and pedestrian education can boost their confidence and create a life long love for active travel.
Canada's Favourite Crossing Guard: Do you know a crossing guard in your area who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to help children get to school safely? Enter him or her in "Canada's Favourite Crossing Guard Contest," run by Parachute, a national charity dedicated to preventing injury and saving lives, and FedEx Express Canada. The winning crossing guards will receive $500 and an engraved plaque and the school will receive $500. Applications accepted until November 22, 2013.
Canada Walks can help you meet your walkability goals!
We offer a full range of workshops and consulting services to help you:
You can find out more information about our services here or contact us for details.
Incentive items for active school travel initiatives can be ordered through M.P. Russo & Associates www.mprusso.com.
Let them know you heard of them through us!
Canada Walks Walkolution News profiles actions across Canada undertaken by Green Communities Canada and our many local partners to help create communities where walking is safe, easy, enjoyable, and inviting. By making a donation to the Green Communities Foundation you can provide vital support for this work. Just click on the Donate Now button and indicate in the comments section that you'd like your gift to go to the work of Canada Walks.