Walking: good for you, good for your city!

Walking. We all do it if we are physically able. Some of it is for exercise, but most of it is just the way we get around to do things. You might say, the original and best way.

Obviously it is good for our health. Many of you would also be familiar with the work of Jeff Speck which delightfully and thoroughly puts forward the tremendous benefits walkability has for city building and function.

Some of you might also have read recently about research undertaken at Stanford that found that walking boosts creative inspiration. They examined creativity levels of people while they walked versus while they sat. A person’s creative output increased by an average of 60 percent when walking.

A few of you might even have read my earlier post about getting involved in a fantastic program called Jane’s Walk. Well, Brisbane’s debut into the program was more successful than I could have hoped. We ended up having four walks offered, and over 100 people came along, including quite a few children (and a couple of dogs!), to be part of the four walks.

In brief, the walks were:

CBD Vibrant Laneways and Small Spaces, led by a wonderful team of people whose day jobs are with Brisbane City Council: Kate Smyth, Kim Mayberry, David Bremner and Jess Carmichael

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The Hills and Valleys of Paddington, lead by our Queensland State Government Architect, Malcolm Middleton OAM, with support of Brisbane Open House

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The Kurilpa Quick Step: Dancing a Across the Peninsula led by Seleneah More with Darren Godwell and Erin Evans, and supported by the West End Community Association

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Discovering the 7 Hills of Brisbane… in Brisbane!, which I led, with my Buckley Vann colleague and friend Kim Amos. I was delighted also that my wife Jan Smith, my sister Meg, her son Declan and our two Dalmatians Molly and Henry cane along to support too.

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The feedback I received at each of the walks, and the obvious interest and enjoyment on the faces of those who came along, were evidence enough for me that this is a great idea and people really do want to know more about their city and local area, and get more connected to the city and their fellow residents. And that walking and talking together is a wonderful way to do that.

It also convinced me to continue as the City Organiser for Brisbane and work out a plan for next year to attract more people to volunteer to lead walks, and get an even bigger turnout on the first weekend of May 2015.

For me, I’m grateful to have been able to tap into such a rich vein of people who care about their city and want to share that with our community, and felt once more the simple joy and sense of fulfilment that volunteering and doing something which others get value from can bring.

Greg Vann
May 2014

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  1. meg says:

    What a terrific success – thank you for such an enjoyable walk. Thrilled to hear you will continue as City Organiser, and can’t wait to get involved next year!

  2. Pingback: The cartoon case for walkability | reviewanew