Take a walk

Click to enlarge

Cities that want healthier populations should get them moving. In the US, where urban sprawl and personal motorised vehicle are prevalent, walking makes up only 8.6% of all trips, by far the lowest proportion in our chart.

Of the OECD countries surveyed in Pedestrian Safety, Urban Space and Health, Germany and Austria rank among the highest populations whose trips are made entirely by walking, with average trips by foot exceeding 25%. However, in industrialised countries, the average length of a walking trip is quite short. For the Swiss, while 28% of trips are made by walking, 60% of them did not exceed 1 km, and only 10% exceeded 2 km. The average journey in Sweden is somewhat longer, at 2 km, with around 22% of all trips taken by foot. As for Americans, they may not walk often, but when they do, they walk further than the Swiss.

Societies that walk are healthier, see less traffic congestion, and have greater social equity and more vibrant economies–as the reports points out, the best customers are pedestrians. Policies that encourage walking facilitate liveable, more compact and sustainable cities. Indeed, urban planning should give greater weight to mobility management, and particularly to non-motorised transportation, so that cities themselves can aim for a healthier waistline.

See www.internationaltransportforum.org

©OECD Observer No 293 Q4 November 2012




Economic data

E-Newsletter

Stay up-to-date with the latest news from the OECD by signing up for our e-newsletter :

Twitter feed

Editor's choice

  • Modest global economic forecasts, continuing high unemployment and serious downside risks should spur governments with a greater sense of urgency to fully employ monetary, fiscal and structural policy levers to support growth, notably in Europe, according to the OECD’s latest Economic Outlook.
  • OECD Employment Outlook 2014: The OECD Employment Outlook 2014 includes chapters on recent labour market developments with a special section on earnings, job quality, youth employment, and forms of employment and employment protection.
  • OECD General-Secretary Angel Gurría on Global Economy. Angel Gurría speaks in Brisbane, where the G-20 summit took place this weekend,on Bloomberg Television's "On the Move."
  • Education at a Glance 2014: OECD Indicators:This book provides annual data on the structure, finances and performance of education systems in the OECD’s 34 member countries, as well as a number of partner countries.
  • Try our latest OECD Observer crossword!
  • Better Life Index
    How do you measure a Better Life? The OECD has launched a new interactive infographic where visitors can explore the priorities of people worldwide. Be a part of it. Create and share your Better Life Index.
  • Tim Harcourt Video
  • G20 and Australia: Economist Tim Harcourt speaks to the BBC about how Australia has gone from "Down Under to Down Wonder".
  • OECD Week 2014 : Resilient economies for inclusive societies. Forum 2014 was organised around three cross-cutting themes: Inclusive Growth, Jobs, and Trust. Watch the video. And check out our 2014 yearbook by clicking here.
  • better-life
  • What does a better life mean for you? Watch this video produced by students from La Sorbonne and see what people around the world have to say.
  • In the transition to cleaner and greener economies, the OECD is helping government and business with the tools to get climate finance right for greener growth plus job creation, while treating our environment as a precious resource.

Most Popular Articles

Subscribe Now

<b>Subscribe now!</b>

To receive your exclusive print editions delivered to you directly


Online edition
Previous editions

Poll

Is deflation a major risk in OECD economies?

Yes
No
Don't know

OECD Insights Blog

NOTE: All signed articles in the OECD Observer express the opinions of the authors
and do not necessarily represent the official views of OECD member countries.

All rights reserved. OECD 2014