Walking As a Sustainable Mean of Short Distance Trips - A National Strategy for More Walking in the Case of Norway



Walking As a Sustainable Mean of Short Distance Trips - A National Strategy for More Walking in the Case of Norway

Authors

Guro Berge, Norwegian Public Roads Administration

Description

In this paper we present the national walking strategy developed for Norway to enhance sustainable land use transport for short distance trips in urban areas

Abstract

Sustainable land use transport has in the recent decades preoccupied the mind of planners and decision makers alike. Several options to meet increasing demand for transport demand, especially in cities have been considered. Options such as car use and certain public transports such as fuel driven buses have been found not to be sustainable in the long run due to emissions and the land that they emit or require. Nevertheless, solutions to sustainable land use transport should not be indifferent with regards to trip distance. Whereas the demand for long distance trips cannot be fully covered without options that increases land take and emissions, the demand for the very short distance trips can be fully covered with options that require less land take and minimum emission of greenhouse gases. Such options primarily include encouraging walking and cycling. In the understanding that walking is probably the best sustainable mode of transport for short distance trips in urban areas, the Norwegian Ministry of Transport in its guidelines for the National Transport Plan for 2014 -2023 authorised The Norwegian Public Road Administration (NPRA) to develop a national strategy for pedestrians or walking. The result has been the so called National Walking strategy for Norway.

In this paper we present the above mentioned national walking strategy developed for Norway to enhance sustainable land use transport. A major argument for having a strategy for walking is that it has additional benefits to the society: walking for short trips also contributes positively to the individual's health and quality of life, to more activity in the local community and makes urban areas more attractive. Another argument for enhancing walking for short distance trips are that it motivates for the use of public transport which, other things equal, reduces the emission of greenhouse gases.

The development of the walking strategy has been based on a vision that "It should be attractive to walk for all" and the main areas it addresses are 1) the requirements for cooperation between different institutional actors, 2) design of the physical environment and 3) the demand for service and maintenance, 4) better interaction in traffic, 5) how to promote a walking culture, and 6) the need for more research and better planning tools. Long term objectives, targets for the period 2014-2023, and strategies to achieve these targets within the three main areas have been identified. Current work involves identifying performance indicators.

The paper will give an overview of the goals, strategies and performance indicators that are suggested. Our literature search revealed that only Scotland has ever developed a walking strategy. A discussion of how our strategy relates to that of Scotland will be given.

Publisher

Association for European Transport