The aim of WALKMORE is to unlock the high walking potential of small Norwegian cities (pop. 10-15.000) by exploring how small cities can make people walk more for everyday travels through land use and transport planning and development.
The aim is to produce new knowledge on
- Planning and decision processes and practices
- Methods and tools for mapping and evaluating walking and walkability
- Walking behaviours and how people perceive their urban built environments.
Walking is a central element in a sustainable transport system. Increasing walking shares is key to achieving national and international environmental and climate objectives of reducing car-dependency, urban traffic volumes and local pollution, improving public health, and creating more attractive and inclusive cities.
Small Norwegian cities are typically characterized by short distances in and near the centre. This indicates a high local walking potential, yet the private car dominates everyday travels. Land use and transport planning and development is central to strengthen the attractiveness and competitiveness of walking as a modal choice. However, significant knowledge gaps remain that hinder our ability to increase walking shares through land use and transport planning. Additionally, small cities often have limited administrative and economical resources. An important aspect is therefore ‘what is good enough’ regarding methodologies, tools, and interventions in small urban contexts.
The main research question is How can small cities be planned and developed to make people walk more?
This is investigated through multiple work packages exploring planning processes, user perspectives, methods for mapping and evaluating walkability, low-budget pilots to enhance the attractiveness of walking, as well as collaboration between actors involved in urban planning and development.
WALKMORE is a collaborative research project between three Norwegian municipalities and their respective counties, namely Narvik and Nordland, Steinkjer and Trøndelag, Kongsvinger and Innlandet, as well as the National Public Roads Administration, the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) and the Institute of Transport Economics (TØI). The latter is the lead institute, with Dr. Tanu Priya Uteng as Project Leader in close collaboration with Dr. Maja Karoline Rynning.
The partners work closely together to produce knowledge on how to plan and develop urban built environments and transport systems in a way that makes people walk more. For the cities this will provide concrete outputs and knowledge they can apply directly in their planning. For the researchers this contributes to ensure that the results of WALKMORE are accessible, understandable, and applicable by practice.
WALKMORE will contribute to an improved land use and transport planning for walking that enables more targeted and efficient walking policies and measures, an important contribution to the necessary transition towards a sustainable transport system in two stages. First, when practitioners and decision-makers implement the results in their urban planning and development, leading to more walkable cities. Second, when inhabitants experience walking as a more attractive mobility mode, and thus walk more.