Calgary to host international conference on the transformative power of walking

The University of Calgary has been chosen to host the XVIII Walk21 International Conference on Walking and Liveable Communities, in September 2017. The university has partnered with the City of Calgary to host the prestigious event.

Walk21, short for ‘Walking in the twenty-first Century,’ celebrates the joy of walking and its ability to transform communities. Walk21 encourages and supports walking as part of transportation, recreation, and health through effective policies, programs, and urban planning. The Walk 21 conference brings together academia, citizens, policy-makers, urban planners, healthcare professionals, and local leaders who are invested in fostering healthy and vibrant communities.

“The University of Calgary has the privilege of collaborating with Walk21 and the City of Calgary to promote the benefits of walking in our beautiful city,” says University of Calgary President Elizabeth Cannon. “We look forward to hosting international and local delegates, who will help shape this vital global conversation about creating healthier neighbourhoods and communities, as well as sustainable growth.”

The three-day event will draw as many as 600 attendees from around the world. Delegates will experience Calgary’s emerging walkability, discuss how walking can transform rapidly growing cities, and be exposed to new ideas and recent evidence about how walking can connect communities and people.

“We are delighted to be bringing the conference back to Canada again, where the national commitment continues to strengthen and there is more energy than ever to pivot cities forwards beyond their auto-centric past to a more walkable future,” says Jim Walker, founder of Walk21. “Calgary is a city that is ready to re-invent itself, less dependent on the car; it has a community that wants to be better connected and healthier; and there is a world renowned University bubbling with expertise and energy that wants to help it get there - it promises to be quite a journey, and Walk21 will be there for every step of it, and we look forward to sharing it with you too.”

Walk21 has been hosted in cities around the world, including Vancouver, Toronto, London, Barcelona, New York, Munich and Sydney. The 2016 conference has just wrapped up in Hong Kong.

The City of Calgary recognizes the value of walking, and has implemented a Pedestrian Strategy to encourage Calgarians to develop a culture of walking.

“I am very pleased that the University of Calgary will host the Walk21 conference in 2017,” says Naheed Nenshi, mayor of Calgary. “Creating a more walkable community is important to our citizens, and Walk21 will help advance this goal in Calgary. We know that walking is the most sustainable form of transportation and The City of Calgary is implementing a pedestrian strategy to help Calgarians choose to walk more often.”

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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.