Walking: more footprints = less carbon by Bronwen Thornton, Development Director, Walk 21

Walking is not just low-carbon, it is the lowest-carbon mode of transport. And it is the essential thread that weaves all our other transport systems together. Without walking, we don’t have passengers to ride buses and trains, drive low emission cars, join car clubs or ride share bikes. 

While the needs of walkers easily get squeezed to the margins and overwhelmed by motorised priorities, walking remains the first step in human mobility and the building block of our communities, our cities and our transport systems. It must be an integral component of all our actions to mitigate the impacts of climate change and reduce emissions through passenger transport systems. 

Providing safe, comfortable and attractive walkable environments will not only retain those already walking, thus not adding to the emissions burden, but also enable and encourage people to walk both for short local journeys (relieving pressure on transit and releasing suppressed demand) and to access public transport services for longer ones (delivering modal shift). 

Walking will underpin all actions to tackle climate change through our transport systems for moving people, so we must ensure it is given the space, priority and facilities we deserve. The hearts of our communities beat through the rhythm of our feet.