University of Calgary

Taking it to the Streets: Walk21

Submitted by alumni on Tue, 04/11/2017 - 23:07.

Taking it to the Streets: Walk21

Walk21: An international conference with world experts leading talks and walks on pedestrian-friendly urban designs. Sept. 22-24.
by Deb Cummings

About 600 people are slated to attend a September conference that aims to explore how a walkable urban design can create health, environmental and economic benefits.About 600 people are slated to attend a September conference that aims to explore how a walkable urban design can create health, environmental and economic benefits.


If the future we spend time imagining is the one we’re likely to get, here’s what you should invest in: walking shoes.

In 2067, the one common denominator that will knit together our urban core in communities such as Calgary’s East Village, the Beltline and Victoria Park will be something much more pedestrian (sorry, pun intended) than flying cars — it will be walking and biking.

“The impact Calgary’s LRT Green Line will have on people’s transportation patterns will be enormous, and the walk-bike routes that will connect to that will greatly increase the walkability in this city,” says the City of Calgary’s senior architect of urban design, David Down, MEDes’88.

A chance to amble through some of Calgary’s up-and-coming urban neighbourhoods, as well as along Calgary’s Riverwalk, the Great (formerly Trans Canada) Trail, the Stampede Grounds, Chinatown, Inglewood’s Music Mile, the University District and others, is a major draw for Walk21 Calgary, Sept. 19-22.

Hosted by the University of Calgary, this 18-year-old international conference will feature scores of presentations and keynotes from walkability experts who will be here to discuss, debate and design our walkable futures. Attracting citizens, urban planners, health-care professionals, local leaders, politicians and academics, this conference also includes “walkshops” that Down and his committee are currently designing. Ranging from 60 to 120 minutes in length, these guided walking tours are a chance to, literally, walk the talk.

Exposing people to Calgary’s emerging walkable design is one of the conference’s themes, adds Down, who himself walks about 20 km a week, which is why the walkshops committee has partnered with Calgary’s local chapter of Jane’s Walk (inspired by Jane Jacobs).

For details on the program,registration and volunteer opportunities, visit ucalgary.ca/walk21calgary. U


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