Making the case for investment in the walking environment

Project details

Full project title: Making the case for investment in the walking environment

Sponsor: Living Streets

Centre for Transport and Society (CTS) team member: Dr Kiron Chatterjee

Other team members: Dr Danni Sinnett and Professor Katie Williams (Centre for Sustainable Planning and Environments, UWE Bristol) and Dr Nick Cavill (Cavill Associates)

Start date: February 2011

Finish date: May 2011

Project summary

The project involves a comprehensive literature review of evidence on the impacts of investing in the walking environment and of walking interventions. The review is to be used to produce a comprehensive and accessible publication that will strengthen Living Streets’ ability to lobby for walking investment and deliver positive change.

In the past, city and town centres have often been poorly designed for pedestrians and dominated by traffic, and local neighbourhoods are often planned for car use, above other modes of travel. However, in the last decade or so there has been a shift in interest to designing and re-designing places to promote walking, and other sustainable forms of mobility, such as cycling and public transport. A range of interventions in urban environments has been developed, implemented and tested. Much research has also been done into the characteristics of existing urban environments to see what types of place encourage more walking.

The review will consider evidence from implemented projects and research, in the UK and internationally, on the impacts of investing in walking environments. It will consider direct transport impacts as well as wider health, social, environmental and economic impacts. The review will also identify examples where cost-benefit analyses and cost-effectiveness have been carried out of investment in the walking environment and, where possible, compare these to studies that have looked at the value for money of other transport projects. The evidence from the review will be brought together to set out the arguments and evidence for investing in the walking environment.