Policy Guidance

There are a growing number of excellent resources that can help steer the delivery of good quality walkability and encourage more people to walk. Here is an introduction to some of the best.

This summary document, which has evolved during side meetings held at Walk21 conferences, sets out the case for an internationally recognised standard for the collection of data on walking, and promotes a detailed set of requirements for walking data that are consistent and comparable.

The INTERNATIONAL WALKING DATA STANDARD on the treatment of walking in travel surveys was adopted at the Walk21 conference in Vienna 2015 and demonstrates the crucial role of good mobility data; calls on the accuracy and consistency of data collection to be improved for all modes; and for comparisons between cities and countries.

The Global Street Design Guide sets a global baseline for designing streets and public spaces while redefining the role of streets in a rapidly urbanizing world. The Guide broadens how to measure the success of urban streets to include access, safety and mobility for all users, environmental quality, economic benefit, public health and overall quality of life.


Created with the input of 72 cities in 42 countries, this new manual presents 21 street typologies and 50 unique street and intersection transformations applicable worldwide. With over 40 case studies, the Guide shows in actionable terms how to redesign streets to put people first. From moving more people with transit lanes, to dedicating space for vibrant economic activity like street vendors, this new global toolkit is applicable to a variety of contexts worldwide.

This manual for decision-makers and practitioners describes: the magnitude of pedestrian deaths and injuries; key risk factors; ways of assessing the pedestrian safety situation in a given setting and prepare an action plan; and how to select, design, implement and evaluate effective interventions.


The manual stresses the importance of a comprehensive, holistic approach that includes engineering, legislation and enforcement as well as behavioural measures. It also draws attention to the benefits of walking, which should be promoted as an important mode of transport given its potential to improve health and preserve the environment.

Every year, more than 270 000 pedestrians lose their lives on the world’s roads.  Globally, pedestrians constitute 22% of all road deaths, and in some countries this proportion is as high as two thirds. Millions more people are injured in trafic-related crashes while walking, some of whom become permanently disabled.



Walk21 has been involved in a number of projects that have helped more people to walk.  Here is a selection with references to external sites where more detailed information can also be found.

Walk21 is supporting the FLOW European project to help put walking and cycling on an equal footing with motorised transport modes as a solution to tackle urban congestion

The FLOW project is developing a user-friendly methodology to assess the effectiveness of walking and cycling measures in addressing urban road congestion targeting 3 main stakeholder groups: cities, businesses and decision-makers - with the aim of shifting the way these groups think about and act on the potential for non-motorised transport to reduce congestion. 

Walk21 supported the Switch Travel Project to create an online manual to help authorities reduce urban car traffic by encouraging the Switch of short car journeys to walking and cycling.  

Switch proved that it was possible to improve the air quality, health, economic vitality and quality of life in urban areas by reducing green house gas emissions.  Switch also helped transport policies across Europe to deliver an increase in walking and cycling for short journeys in urban areas.

This innovative EU – funded project, focused on life changing moments when people transfer schools; move home; or receive medical advice to increase their physical activity.   Switch campaigns target willing people and provide personalised travel plans to support an interest in walking and cycling more. 

​Walk21 supported the Active Access project to increase walking for short everyday trips in local areas, in order to benefit people’s health, and the health of the local economy.


The European project transferred longer car trips to shorter walking and cycling trips by changing people’s mental maps of their local neighbourhoods so that they realise what is available on their doorstep, rather than in the edge of town retail park.

PQN was a multi-disciplinary study, exploring the needs of pedestrians and developing models in context, based on evidence, and with measurable outputs. The project started with an inventory of available statistics, national and international research and development publications with regard to pedestrians and documented policy statements of stakeholders on the various political and institutional levels.


Fact Sheets

There are some great info graphics and quick facts for walking and the benefits to us and our communities when more people do more of it.  here is a selection of some of our favourites.  Do send us any you think that will help others tell the walking story too.

Flow facts

WHO map of how to create more active people for a healthier world

Walk to Work calorie counter poster
Citywalk fact sheet
Accessibility standards

for key services

Children & Nature Infograph
National Walking Strategy Infograph
Active Kids Learn Better Brain Scans


Active Inequality map
Home-Buyer Survey

Home buyers want walkable communities

Benefits of walkability
Economy of Streets
Active Transportation
Health benefits of Walking
Walk your Way to Better Health

The anatomy of walking



Walk21 offers Master Classes and professional development and training in walking and walkability.  Most recently conducted in Brisbane, Australia (July 2017), the classes can deliver on a number of objectives, agreed with the host.

For example, we conduct on-street walking audit training, policy framework analysis and development, 

Classes can focus on specific topics, drawing on the international expertise available within Walk21 and shared with local knowledge to develop practical, deliverable action plans.

We work with large and small communities, to stimulate interest and activity in walking in the local community, and to create local action plans within the framework of the International Charter for Walking.

Making Walking Count

Make Walking Count is a survey, analysis and reporting framework, designed by Walk21 to explore residents’ attitudes toward walking generally and their walking behaviour in their own neighbourhood in particular. Make Walking Count is also an international benchmarking tool to provide information to cities to help them steer their policies and investments in walking and to enable learning between cities and communities. Initially undertaken in four world cities, the tool is now being used successfully in communities of various sizes, to understand and benchmark the needs of local people and to ensure a user perspective to inform decision making and to identify the best spend for investments in walking infrastructure, information and encouragement programmes.


Several cities like London, Canberra, Wokingham, Copenhagen and Barcelona have used the tool already and others are lined up to follow. 


Elements of the tool


The tool consists of a questionnaire to be completed by at least 600 local residents via a telephone interview. Data about 8 indicators is collected and analysed:

1 Walking activity 

2 Activity in the public realm 

3 Local accessibility

4 Motivations for walking

5 Barriers to more walking

6 Perception of the walking environment

7 Measures to improve the walking environment

8 Transport spending priorities

The tool was developed by Walk21 in partnership with experts from the COST 358 PQN Project, Accent, Colin Buchanan, Mobiel21, Urban Mobility Research, Transport for London and the City of Copenhagen.

This approach provides compatible data with all participating communities and ensures reliable and consistent results are obtained.