Walk21-VII:. Melbourne, Australia

Take the Next Steps

23 - 25 October, 2006

Main Conference Themes.
Melbourne Walk21 aims to support and generate the next steps that will really bring walking into the mainstream. It will be an action orientated event focusing on four main themes: 

Making walking possible
Designing communities so that walking is safe, easy and attractive.

Making the choice
Marketing walking to the community.

Making the case
Building the case for walking from social, environmental and economic perspectives.

Making it happen
Influencing and generating commitment, partnerships and momentum.

The conference included over 130 presentations incorporating keynotes, plenary sessions, panel discussions, meet the experts opportunities and 'walkshops'.

A range of pre and post conference activities were also held in Sydney and New Zealand. 



THEME 1.     Making it Possible

1. Traffic authorities and walking organizations need to work together to reduce road danger which is a major barrier to increasing levels of walking.  Actions to progress could include:

  • Adapting safety rating systems for roads such as the World Bank’s traffic management model to also include pedestrian safety and mobility measures; 

  • Promoting strategies targeting motorists to reduce speed, share road space and respect pedestrians; 

  • Undertaking major demonstration projects to increase levels of walking and reduce road danger.

2. Creating walkable environments is critical to increasing levels of walking both within new build areas and as a retrofit to existing developments.  A suite of consistent planning tools is needed to make this possible. Actions to progress could include:

  •  Developing comprehensive guidelines for  sustainable and walkable communities to support regional structure planning, town and neighbourhood design and public space development - building on existing documents such as the Western Australian Liveable Neighbourhoods Code;

  • Formally adopting these guidelines within regulatory and approval processes; 

  • Conducting consultation and training programmes on the guidelines with developers;

  • Setting standards for future developments in partnership with developers, planners and designers;

  • Including comprehensive training units in all relevant undergraduate courses;

  • Implementing consistent measuring of the walkability of street networks using Ped-shed analysis rather than generic radius distances;

  • Developing comprehensive guidelines for retrofitting existing urban areas. 

THEME 2.     Making the Choice

3. The continued marketing of walking to communities as a responsible, enjoyable and beneficial choice is having significant impact around the world; encouraging walking as both a health activity and mode of transport.  To generate cultural change the profile of walking must continue to be raised.  Actions to progress can include:

  • Increasing marketing of messages which emphasise walking as an every day transport option as well as continued promotion of walking for recreation, tourism and health;

  • Promoting walking as a responsible activity that provides a local contribution to nationally and internationally significant issues including climate change, obesity and oil usage;

  • Celebrating the enjoyment that walking can provide by connecting people to places, spaces and other people;

  • Creatively using technology, such as mobile phones, MP3 players, and GPS to deliver more targeted and personalized information that encourages and supports walking;

  • Continuing to develop support structures such as clubs and groups.

THEME 3.     Making the Case

4. Advocates and practitioners need to continue to build and present the case for walking to facilitate stronger commitment, investment and engagement at all levels.  The case may be made stronger with the following developments:


  • Setting international guidelines for the collection, analysis and dissemination of qualitative and quantitative techniques for measuring walking;

  • Allocating more funding to support research into walking behaviour and the relationship with walkable environments;

  • Analysing trends in the attitudes, scale and spread of effective policies and practices;

  • Developing appropriate evaluation processes and measures and systematically incorporating appropriate evaluation into all projects;

  • Developing and promoting ~demonstration projects. 


THEME 4.     Making it Happen

5. People walk when there is a shared commitment and established momentum between government, organizations and communities to making it happen.  The following steps should be pursued:


  • Developing stronger advocacy through strategic alliances and greater collaboration;

  • Developing business cases which link the health, environmental, transport, retail and social benefits of increased walking;

  • Developing interdisciplinary, professional networks;

  • Continuing to provide advocacy forums at individual, country and international levels to raise the profile of walking and assist in the collation and dissemination of guidelines and best practice;

  • Developing walking information centres to collate, distil and disseminate pertinent resources and support networks;

  • Promoting the International Charter for Walking, particularly to senior decision markers, as an advocacy tool and a check list to guide development;

  • Developing policies and practices which focus on active travel for children and seniors;

  • Integrating and prioritising walking issues in the wider transport decision making processes; 

  • Training senior decision makers; 

  • Allocating resources for research and projects.



Seoul 2020



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Walk21, 24 Moorend,Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL530HD, United Kingdom

© Access Associates Limited (AAL) owns the Walk21 name and has it protected under copyright law 

Walk21 Foundation is a registered charity in England and Wales (Charity Number 1174564)


Walk21 is the international charity dedicated to ensuring the right to walk and opportunity to enjoy it is supported and encouraged for everyone throughout the world.