MacKay Hannah

Walking and the Urban Environment: The Living Streets Scotland Conference

Wed 6th Nov 2013

, Hilton Edinburgh Grosvenor

OVERVIEW View Conference Agenda

This conference is free to attend. 


'There is overwhelming evidence in relation to the health benefits that come from walking so that is why the Scottish Government will develop a National Walking Strategy. This will address infrastructure, support and communication to make sure we do everything possible to help the use walking as a mode of transport or to get active. I want Scotland to become internationally recognised as an active society and this project is another step in that direction'

Shona Robison MSP, Minister for Commonwealth Games & Sport on announcement of the National Walking Strategy 

Over 80% of people in Scotland live in towns or cities and walk in the urban environment every day. Walking (including walking with aids/using a wheelchair) is the most universal and affordable form of transport and the mode most often used by under 20s, over 80s and those on lowest incomes. It is the most common form of physical activity, at any age or on any  income. It is the most sustainable form of transport, supporting jobs in the local retail economy and increasing our perception of being in a safe community.

Despite, or perhaps because, walking is convenient and needs no special equipment, it is often undervalued, particularly in transport planning. Conditions for walking can be historically worst in areas of deprivation, with the worst air quality, highest levels of derelict land and worst road casualty records.

Yet there is good practice to champion. The Scottish Government’s 2010 Designing Streets policy highlights that street design should consider pedestrians first and that street layouts should allow walkable access to local amenities for all street users. The National Walking Strategy is being developed to maximise the number of people using walking as a mode of transport, to get active and to stay active because “30 minutes of walking each day provides more protection against death than any medication”. (Shona Robison MSP, Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, 15th May 2012) The Transport Scotland Smarter Choices, Smarter Places Programme results in 2013 saw increases in walking levels in all 7 Scottish communities, by up to 21%. There are opportunities for Scotland to lead the way on creating a more walkable environment.

Join us at this free conference with pedestrian concerns, dynamic speakers and universal issues. Living Streets Scotland, supported by Paths for All, want to focus on how to get more people walking more often in a better walking environment in our urban communities.



Shona Robison MSP

Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport


David Middleton Chief Executive, Transport Scotland

Archie Robertson OBE Conference Chair and Chair of Living Streets

Mike Galloway OBE Director of City Development, Dundee City Council

John Dales Director, Urban Movement

Ian Findlay Chief Officer, Paths for All

Professor Dawn Skelton Professor in Ageing and Health, Later Life Research Group, Glasgow Caledonian University

Keith Irving Head of Living Streets Scotland

Bob Foley Head of Health and Well Being, Newbattle High School

Councillor Lesley Hinds Convener, Transport & Environment Committee, City of Edinburgh Council

Ian Gilzean Chief Architect, Scottish Government

Mike Harrison Secretary, Scottish Accessible Transport Alliance

Alastair Mitchell Business Improvement District Manager, Falkirk Delivers

Tony Armstrong Chief Executive, Living Streets

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