Looking through the Walk21 Ireland conference programme, it’s all very familiar territory, however it’s been trodden by new pairs of shoes, which we welcome.
Hats off to the hard work and expertise of Jim Walker and Bronwen Thornton, happy to be the driving forces behind what is surely one of the most extraordinary series of international conferences ever to be held! Who would have thought there was so much that could be written, discussed, talked about and implemented in the world of walking?
Surely every possible angle has been covered, every street and public space explored or design concept tested, every walk to and from school, every leisure hike or trail followed, every bit of data gathered and interpreted, and yet this conference keeps rolling round on an annual basis
We were enthusiastic participants in early Walk21s, not least as before the formation of the Museum of Walking (2007), we were running an urban design consultancy and working in public health, active travel and children’s rights to roam. Latterly, as we have become more involved in walking art and creative walking, we have tended to diverge somewhat from the utilitarian transport-focused Walk21 agenda, but there are some artists there in this year‘s programme, and if you are new to working in walking as a transport or in other aspects of active travel, then Walk21 is an event not to be missed.
These conferences have also been a source of interviewees for Talking Walking podcasts and it’s 15 years since Walk21 in Toronto, after which we interviewed Jacky Kennedy, then a Director of Green Communities Canada – listen to others from our archives of transport professionals and those working in public health.
It’s unlikely we will get to Walk21 in Dublin this year, as we have succumbed to a uncomfortable collision with a garden table and have broken a rib and feel somewhat debilitated and sore! Listen out there for Ellie Berry of Tough Soles and Jonathon Stalls of Walk2Connect as both will be attending in Walk21 Ireland – we wish we could be there and we wish you all a great conference.
Feature image: Thanks to Epic Maps @loca1ion for the European pedestrian symbols map!