Honk! “A Cidade a Pé” (The Walking City) Or how to adjust our mental maps of our city

A perfect idea! Such a brilliant idea, such a simple idea . . . that there is not one city on this crowded planet that is at least a bit proud of itself who should not be thinking about organizing along these lines at least once a year. The true genius of this approach is that it is uncomplicated, doable, and positive. Moreover, it is hugely inclusive – after all what could be more inclusive than walking — as well as deeply anchored in the culture of the place. Bravo Aveiro and all of you behind this terrific project.

Editor’s note: We cannot too much stress the strategic importance of taking a positive approach to rethinking our cities — really quite important given the extent to which some of these otherwise festive sustainable transport events have often taken a sharp negative turn. Nobody learns from conflict, no citizen wants to have an idea thrust down their throat.

Here you have some preliminary information just in from the organizers and quickly translated by machine, and for what it lacks in terms of linguistic beauty the underlying concept more than compensates. We have requested the organizers to share with us an analytic report for publication so that you will be able to follow and perhaps be inspired by the approach taken in the ideas expressed by all those present.

The City Council of Aveiro Portugal is organizing on 18 March an International Seminar on “The Walking City” in the Cultural and Congress of Aveiro, between 9:00 and 18:00.

The seminar is part of European Mobility Project Active Access, integrated in the European Intelligent Energy Europe, which the city of Aveiro is one of 17 European partners within the network of cities promoting the mobility measures.

The event aims to disseminate and discuss the main objective of European Project “Active Access,” promoting policies that improve mobility and cycling, especially in walking as a transport form — by modifying the “mental map” of citizens in actual practice — helping citizens to become more aware of the nearby opportunities for shopping, services and leisure in their neighborhoods. Participants will include representatives and experts from several European partners.

It will be attended by members of the Active Access consortium, policy and decision makers, municipal, regional and national mobility professionals and is also open to members of the public. You can download the program and registration form here.

Active Access

The European project aims to achieve a reduction of energy consumption and emissions, and improving the public health, supporting local business and also increasing the sense of belonging to a place, strengthening the ties of neighborhood and implementing the urbanity.

The project is a network of European partners, set up by Napier University (consortium leader) and the cities of Koprivnica in Croatia, L’Aquila in Italy, Szeged in Hungary, Austrian Mobility Research, the city of Tartu in Estonia, the Energy Agency Harguita, the Cyclists’ Club of Hungary, the National Center of Health of Slovenia, the German Institute of Urban Affairs, the Energy Agency Prioriterre of Annecy in France, the Energy Agency de Ribera in Spain, Cities 4 Mobility, University of Cyprus, Walk 21 and The Association for Urban Transition.

This members of the network will meet in Aveiro on the 16th and 17 March, prior to the 18 March Seminar.

* Program and Registration Form: Click here

* And here for more on the EU Active Access program: