Brussels recognises that walking is more than just walking

The event was opened by Secretary of State of Transport Bruno de Lille. Speakers from Walk21 and Urban Mobility Research in Austria talked about the importance of walking as a means of transport, while Zurich, Geneva, Lyon and Munich presented the work that they have done on walking. The target of the event were local stakeholders who will help develop walking in the city. This is the first time Brussels has developed a comprehensive walking plan, and recognise that there is a lot of work in front of them.

Following scoping surveys, it is recognised that:

  • There are many pedestrians in Brussels already, who should be catered for.
  • Making Brussels attractive to walking will make Brussels an attractive city (to live in, and to visit).
  • Everyone can benefit from a walking plan: from young children, to people going to work, to those requiring wheelchairs to move around.
  • Brussels has a large potential for walking, being a compact city with short distances between destinations.
  • There is a lot to be done: today it is still too difficult and dangerous to walk in many parts of the city.

The walking plan is part of the wider urban mobility strategy of the city, sitting well with other existing policies of the city. It is recognised that pedestrians should not just be provided for, but that all people should be invited and encouraged to walk. The plan should be published in the autumn of this year, following further consultation with stakeholders over the summer.