The benefits of walking are huge for individuals, communities, and the planet. This year’s National Walking Summit extolled the benefits of strategies to increase the walkability of communities, from infrastructure improvements such as wider sidewalks and access to parks, to creating “Walking School Buses” for parents to walk their kids to school in groups, to posting public signs on the ease of walking to local attractions, and more. The ability to walk in safety and comfort is also a social justice issue, as poor and minority communities are more likely to live in less walkable neighborhoods that are correlated with higher instances of diabetes and heart disease. Improving people’s ability to walk is therefore also a way to increase health, equity, and environmental benefits.
Climate Protection: Reduces carbon emissions from traveling in cars
Energy & Mobility: Allows for less dependence on energy intensive travel
Jobs & Assets: Increases visibility of local businesses and attractions
Health, Well-Being, & Safety: Reduces the risk of chronic disease; lowers air pollution levels from vehicles
Connection: Brings people in contact with nature and their neighbors; builds a sense of belonging
This post is part of a series on examples of multisolving, or climate-smart policies that simultaneously work to mitigate climate change while providing co-benefits such as the ones described above. The multiple benefits analysis was done using the FLOWER framework.