Cities Alive: Towards a walking world

WalkablecityBy the year 2030, 70% of the world’s population will be living in cities, according to a recent report by ARUP. This is our global future! People look at the opportunity to walk to work as a great luxury and of great personal benefit. It is also good for your health and helps you to stay fit.

I love that I can walk to the store and pick up a few things for dinner. Everything I need for day to day living is right in my neighbourhood. The notion that I don’t need to get into my car and drive for a bag of milk is worth so much to me.

That’s one of the most amazing things about Toronto: the neighbourhoods. They’re like little cities in and of themselves and if you live in one, you too can walk to the store, sit at a cafe, go for a lovely dinner or simply stroll along the streets and do a little window shopping.

While the suburbs and sleeper communities have often been heralded as the solution for the population growth’s endless need for new housing, in reality, many people want to come back to the city and put an end to commuting and the endless drive. With most companies, health care resources, educational institutions and other businesses remaining in the cities, the population is following that trend.

citiesAlive658x930The quality of life those people experience will depend entirely on cities being walkable. Why? Because a major determinant of quality of life is in the way people move around their city: easily, enjoyably, and safely.

“… a walkable city is a better city and that the more we walk, the better the city in every respect.”

Toronto is one of the cities that is on its way to being part of the walking world. That is why I am so confident that the condo market in Toronto will stay healthy and prices will continue to increase. Investors will benefit from that and for people who are still hesitating? It could quickly become unaffordable. Buying a home in central or downtown Toronto now is an investment in the city and its future as a walkable, enjoyable, safe place to live.

To view the full report, click here >>.

Mobility is intrinsic to the quality of life experienced in cities. But for the past century, the car has dominated how we plan and grow our urban areas. We must now seize the opportunity to place people back at the heart of our cities and drive a human focused approach to the design of the built environment. With a growing desire to create more liveable streets, a light needs to be shone upon the benefits of walking as a catalyst for developing sustainable, healthy, prosperous and attractive cities. From 70 years of practice, Arup recognises that a walkable city is a better city and that the more we walk, the better the city in every respect.

Key features

Cities Alive: Towards a walking world highlights the significant social, economic, environmental and political benefits of walking. Informed by specialist insight and multidisciplinary expertise from across our global offices, we highlight 50 benefits of walking explored through 16 distinct indicative themes, and list 40 actions that city leaders can consider to inform walking policy, strategy and design. These are informed by a catalogue of 80 international case studies that will inspire action, and further aid cities in identifying and evaluating opportunities.