Posted by: Karen Quinn Fung | February 5, 2011

Pedestrians in the 21st Century: What would you want to see at Walk21?

This coming October, Metro Vancouver will be hosting Walk 21, the International Conference on Walkable and Livable Cities. The theme for the conference will be “Transforming the Automobile City: Walking Steps Up!”

This is a great time to be having this conversation in Vancouver. Pedestrians are near and dear to the heart of thinking about public space. Whether it’s streets for people (through initiatives like the City of Vancouver’s Summer Spaces or temporary performance spaces), pedestrian-only spaces (like what’s being considered for Robson Square) or even just memories of last year’s Olympic Games, we’re wondering how to make spaces in our cities as enjoyable to be in as they are to travel through, and starting to ask the harder questions about how this relates to sustainability, as well as the health of our city and its citizens.

The Walk21 organizers want to explore these and many other issues with their attendees. Walk 21’s Call for Proposals lays out a lot of options — they’re open to a wide range of things, from interactive and outdoors events, to more traditional formats such as research papers, posters, videos, or lightning-style 6 minute presentations.

We know you’ve got fantastic ideas about how you’ve experienced Vancouver on two feet (or elsehow). Come join us in thinking through a proposal for Walk21! We want to be able to show visitors what Vancouver’s got right when it comes to the walkable city, as well as where the future challenges lie and some ideas about how we might overcome them.

We’ll be meeting this coming Wednesday (yes, short notice!), February 9th, 6:30pm at SFU Harbour Centre near Waterfront Station in downtown Vancouver. If you’d like to join us, RSVP to so we know you’re coming!

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