Why you should hold your meetings on the move, drive less, and rally around good urban design.
While the benefits of walking have been hailed for centuries (see Frederic Gros’ “A Philosophy of Walking“) the peer-reviewed research is starting to add up, confirming Nietzsche’s heartfelt manifestos on the subject. Walking really does enhance creativity – a great reason to take your brainstorming sessions outside. University of Calgary researcher Gavin McCormack correlated hours spent driving to obesity - an important consideration given today’s increasingly sedentary lifestyles. Meanwhile, walking more is positively correlated with better public health.
What’s design got to do with it? According to Professors William Milczarski and Peter Tuckel, even people who aren’t that into walking will walk more in pedestrian-friendly environments. This extends to cycling. Brian Saelens and his fellow researchers show that urban environments that are more dense, encompass mixed land uses and have greater pathway connectivity, unsurprisingly, experience more walkers and cyclists.
How does Calgary fare when it comes to walking?
- 4.96% of work commuters in Calgary were walking in 2014, slightly down from 2011
- 2014 most pedestrian-friendly neighbourhood: Sunnyside
- 2014 most walkable community: Beltline
- Calgary was voted 10th (last) most walkable city in Canada in 2013
- 73% of Albertans walked for leisure, transportation, or for work in 2013, but we don’t walk enough to attain a moderate level of physical activity, and the Alberta Centre for Active Living recommends we spend more time walking
- The City of Calgary now prioritizes walking and transit through their Municipal Development Plan, Calgary Transportation Plan, and Complete Streets Guide
How can we design more walkable communities? Check out these great visuals from Dan Burden via the City of Calgary.
Have a great afternoon, all, and don’t forget to take a…