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Walking ...


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Presentation from the Chair of the Walking group of the ITF OECD

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Walking ...

  1. 1. 'The OECD proposals for governments on Walking, Urban Space and Health' Prof. Thanos Vlastos, Chair of the OECD Working Group on ‘ Walking, Urban Space and Health’
  2. 2. ITF/OECD working group on ‘Walking, Urban Space and Health’ <ul><li>experts from 17 OECD countries </li></ul><ul><li>geographers </li></ul><ul><li>urban planners </li></ul><ul><li>transport planners </li></ul><ul><li>psychologists </li></ul><ul><li>economists </li></ul><ul><li>2008 publication ‘Towards Zero Accidents’ and many other reports </li></ul><ul><li>2011 publication ‘Walking, Urban Space and Health’ </li></ul><ul><li>The aims of the ‘Walking, Urban Space and Health’ publication: </li></ul><ul><li>to provide national governments with recommendations for the implementation of policies to encourage walking in urban areas </li></ul><ul><li>to help policy makers fill the gaps concerning walking in all administrative procedures and urban and transport policies </li></ul>
  3. 3. The approach of the OECD/ITF group Towards a different city <ul><li>Not a problem responsive approach but proactive, generative and oriented by a vision </li></ul><ul><li>vision for the humane city of tomorrow based on a new urban and mobility culture </li></ul><ul><li>The social challenge </li></ul><ul><li>-> urban social target: accepting of living in a more dense city </li></ul><ul><li>-> mobility social target: adopting more collective and responsible behaviors less depending on car </li></ul>
  4. 5. Topics covered by the future report <ul><li>Pedestrian needs </li></ul><ul><li>Analysis of current situation: mobility, health and safety issues </li></ul><ul><li>Proposals of Measures to encourage walking </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Institutional structures for pedestrians </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Urban planning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mobility planning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Urban space and design for pedestrians </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Legislation and enforcement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Traffic and speed management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Security issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Education and communication </li></ul></ul>
  5. 6. The crucial role of Urban Space. Walking and Sojourning <ul><li>to create more open spaces as places to stay and meet other people </li></ul><ul><li>to liberate existing spaces (the streets) from </li></ul><ul><ul><li>parking congestion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>heavy traffic </li></ul></ul><ul><li>to transform the m into livable , healthy and safe spaces where it will be a pleasure to walk and stay </li></ul><ul><li>to fill the streets with children, the elderly, people with mobility impairments, pedestrians, cyclists </li></ul><ul><li>to attract residents and visitors </li></ul>
  6. 8. The history and the decline of walking <ul><li>Cities functioned almost exclusively around walking . This is one of the reasons why they were small in size </li></ul><ul><li>Today, cities are big, walking has to compete with many other means and his status has fallen </li></ul><ul><li>During the 20th century priority was given to cars because they offered residents new freedoms </li></ul>
  7. 10. Urban sprawl. From walking to driving <ul><li>Urban sprawl consequences : </li></ul><ul><li>long distance trips </li></ul><ul><li>car dependency </li></ul><ul><li>accidents, particularly for pedestrians </li></ul><ul><li>energy consumption </li></ul><ul><li>climate change </li></ul><ul><li>obesity and other health problems </li></ul><ul><li>isolation vs social cohesion </li></ul><ul><li>moving away from the values of collective city experience and sociability </li></ul>
  8. 11. Walking and pleasure <ul><li>Walking means contact with the open space </li></ul><ul><li>Walking and sojourning is an inexpensive urban quality </li></ul><ul><li>Walking connects people </li></ul><ul><li>Walking is a learning exercise </li></ul><ul><li>Walking develops independence and identity </li></ul><ul><li>Walking is a pleasure of the body and of the mind </li></ul><ul><li>When walking and sojourning are missing the open space is devaluated </li></ul><ul><li>Walking will be reconsidered only when movement will be seen as a gain and not a loss of time </li></ul><ul><li>Do we really always need speed? </li></ul><ul><li>devaluation of open spaces </li></ul>
  9. 14. Walking forms the heart of transport systems <ul><li>virtually everyone is a pedestrian </li></ul><ul><li>every motorized movement or activity is preceded and followed by walking </li></ul><ul><li>Walking continues to be the most important mode of transport in terms of the number of trips </li></ul><ul><li>the ageing of the population will bring even more people to the streets. </li></ul><ul><li>the new interest in walking and cycling will result in a new growth in the coming decades. </li></ul><ul><li>However, public authorities know little about walking . Surveys are incomplete </li></ul>
  10. 15. <ul><li>Walking today is often risky. Priorities, speed, road design, level of traffic, poor maintenance </li></ul><ul><li>8% to 36% of all road fatalities </li></ul><ul><li>high number of fallings </li></ul><ul><li>in order to avoid accidents many desirable outings on foot are avoided </li></ul><ul><li>-> with less pedestrians the street attracts more cars and becomes more hostile. Vicious circle </li></ul><ul><li>Pedestrian survivability after a crash is linked to the speed. 30 Km/h is a limit </li></ul><ul><li>The safety challenge. The ageing of the population will result in a growing number of vulnerable people dependent on walking. </li></ul>
  11. 16. What to ask from Public Authorities I <ul><li>to plan for the needs of pedestrians’ requirements as well </li></ul><ul><li>to create structures facilitating pedestrians to represent themselves in urban and mobility policy making </li></ul><ul><li>to change traffic rules and to create calm urban environment </li></ul><ul><li>to reconsider priorities </li></ul><ul><li>to unload the city from heavy traffic flows and excessive parking </li></ul><ul><li>to increase the space for pedestrians and to maintain it adequately (to reduce accidents due to falls) </li></ul>
  12. 18. What to ask from Public Authorities II <ul><li>to reinforce public transport and cycling </li></ul><ul><li>to pay particular attention to the accessibility of public transport stations by foot </li></ul><ul><li>to create more areas with moderated speed. 30 km/h should be the maximum speed in residential areas </li></ul><ul><li>to provide pedestrians with a well connected network minimizing the effects of physical and technical barriers </li></ul><ul><li>to provide education about walking, the city , people and the neighborhood . The sustainable city needs organization and compliance to the rules </li></ul>
  13. 20. The urban planning strategy for the sustainable city -> to turn towards new targets <ul><li>to better exploit the recent architectural heritage </li></ul><ul><li>to build more dense and public transport oriented cities </li></ul><ul><li>to limit urban extensions only towards areas connected by public transport </li></ul><ul><li>to mix activities in order to increase the number of destinations accessible on foot </li></ul>
  14. 21. Conclusion we must convince Public Authorities that <ul><li>cities have to revert from being areas of primarily motorized movements to becoming once again more natural, gentle, peaceful and clean places. Thus they will: </li></ul><ul><li>function better </li></ul><ul><li>become more productive and competitive </li></ul><ul><li>reduce external costs of transport and become more sustainable </li></ul><ul><li>become more attractive to residents, visitors and investors </li></ul>