Neighborhood walks as transport, outdoor recreation and public health

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Facilitating walks close to residential areas is an important challenge in sustainable planning. The paper illuminates how efforts to improve conditions for and stimulate neighborhood walks are organized and integrated into Norwegian municipal planning. We mainly build on case studies in 3 municipalities of different sizes. Norwegian Travel Surveys shows that about 20 per cent of all daily trips are done on foot. Nevertheless, walking regarded as either transport, outdoor recreation or public health, have little attention in Norwegian municipal planning and management. Walking as transport is nearly absent. Transport planning is still primarily concerning motorized cars and busses and railroads, and to some extent bicycles. Walking is nearly invisible in the municipalities' organization and crumbles away in the planning system. To strengthen neighborhood walks, public health should be made as an overarching perspective for the interdisciplinary organization for walks. A main network for walking should be established through land-use planning, and substantially more emphasis should be given to achieve coherence between the 'grey' pavements and walking trails in the residential areas and the 'green' trails and roads for walking in the forests outside.
walking, public health, outdoor recreation, transport