Walking Interconnections as a catalyst
Walking Interconnections is already engaging in extensive follow-up networking activity, including with Bristol City’s Big Green Capital project, Bristol having been awarded European Green City status for 2015. Walking Interconnections will be keying in to the Social Inclusion group and the Sustainable Futures group.
One of the original drivers for the research was the disproportionate impact of climate change related disasters upon disabled people (Abbott and Porter, 2013). As a result of the Walking Interconnections project a booklet will be produced by the Bristol Civil Protection Unit, developed with and aimed at disabled and older people titled ‘Preparing for Emergencies in Bristol’ (10,000 booklet run, to be published November 2014). Facilitated by Simon Creed, Bristol Civil Protection Unit, the PI is exploring the opportunity to present to Emergency Planning Society (3000 members, UK wide) – the national group for Emergency planners, at a workshop or conference. The PI hoped also to be invited to write an article for Resilience magazine, published by the Emergency Planning College. There may also be potential to input to courses in the college.
Bristol and Glasgow are Rockefeller-funded Resilient Cities – the first two in the UK. The PI will be attending the 100 Resilient Cities Agenda Setting Workshop. Harnessing the energy attached to Resilient Cities, we aspire to also re-site and recite the research outcomes in Glasgow (the CI is based at the University of Glasgow).
Walking Interconnections have been invited to speak at the 2014 Schumacher Institute conference. It is our intention to replicate the activities proposed for the Connected Communities Showcase at the Festival of Nature – this could entail an exhibition, guided / audio walks and the distribution of the Walking Interconnections publication.
Meetings have been held between members of the WECIL peer support group, some of whom who participated in the Walking Interconnections research, and the Walking for Health / Every Step Counts initiatives.
As part of the local legacy of the project we will be collaborating with the Schumacher Institute, members of Bristol Older People’s Forum and local Neighbourhood Partnerships to ensure that insights from the research support proposals, such as that to the Bristol City Active Neighbourhood Transport Grant, in relation to improvements to public spaces shared between cyclists and older / disabled users, and a detailed survey to test the ‘walkability’ of the walking routes identified, in order that they are inclusive of those with mobility problems. This will enable future decision makers to make good decisions about infrastructure on those routes. The project falls under the auspices of implementing Bristol City Council’s existing Walking Strategy at a Neighbourhood level.
Another exciting development for follow-on work is the ‘Walk in Someone Else’s Shoes’ events. To see more information about ‘Walk in Someone Else’s Shoes’ events visit the page on the menu, or click here.
Networking continues. If you’d like to discuss the project and its findings contact firstname.lastname@example.org