Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Hynes, Mike
Urban Transitions 2018: Integrating urban and transport planning, environment and health for healthier urban living
Urban Walkability
Sitges, Barcelona Spain
Poster Presentation
Optional Fields
The need to tackle the adverse economic, social and environmental effects of car-dependent cities and towns has newly intensified as evidence of its destructive costs on local economies, communities, and climate change goals becomes more apparent. Part solution to these damaging consequences must be a focus on reducing the need for car use in urban areas and increasing instances of active and sustainable transportation such as walking, cycling, and public transport. Walking is perhaps the least expensive and most broadly accessible forms of exercise with extensive evidence supporting its benefits for physical and mental well-being. Walkability is a measure of how walking-friendly an area is for people and includes issues such as the built environment, public art, facilities for walkers such as water fountains and toilets, safety and anti-social behaviours, and easy connectivity to key amenities and additional modes of transport. This autoethnographical study aims to emphasis the realities of issues related to walkability in Galway, a small European city on the west coast of Ireland. While numerous municipalities and councils declare their support for such active mode of transport as walking, many decision-makers ignore or may well be unaware of the essential features of walkability outside the restrictive location-specific parts of their own urban working environments. This paper seeks to present, in narrative form, an autoethnography of walking in and through the built urban environment of Galway. It will allow the reader ‘experience’ the conditions and settings by ‘being there’ with the author on his walks in and around Galway with the aim of focusing attention on improving urban design with regards to walkability.
Publication Themes
Applied Social Sciences and Public Policy