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Laura Laker writes a feature story on how cities are making their cities more walkable, and why:
The modern obsession with autonomous and electric vehicles, dockless scooters and bicycles means it is easy to forget the humble pedestrian. However, as almost every journey starts or finishes on foot, we are ignoring a fundamental part of what makes a city great.
To gather the evidence for the story, Laker surveys representatives from organizations like the UK walking charity Living Streets, the design and planning company Arup, and the National Association of City Transportation Officials (Nacto).
The article goes into detail on case studies from Auckland, London, Manchester, Hanoi, Denver, Addis Ababa, and San Francisco. One particularly compelling anecdote from these case studies:
Notoriously car-centric Auckland in New Zealand recently published a report showing pedestrians as the most economically important transport mode in the city. They estimated that policies which put people off walking on Queen Street, a major shopping area, cost NZ$11.7m (£5.9m) a year.
While there are many examples of cities working hard to improve safety for pedestrians, and from numerous approaches the many risks facing pedestrians, Laker makes one thing abundantly clear: there's still along way to go and cities will require a lot of strong leadership to make dreams of a truly walkable city come true.