The goal is more convenient walking and cycling access to schools, employment, shops and services, public transport and open space.
- Proportion of trips by walking (updated)
- Proportion of residents within 10-minute walking access to centres (new)
- Participation in walking and cycling for exercise (new)
Walking and cycling enhance people’s health and fitness, reduce congestion and transport-related pollution, create opportunities for social connections and contribute to more people-friendly and attractive streets.
The Premier’s Priority for greener public spaces recognises the need for quality public spaces within walking distance of where people live and how important this is to healthier lifestyles and to bring people together.
Participation in walking and cycling across Greater Sydney increased since March 2020. The Public Spaces during COVID-19 survey, undertaken by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment between April and August 2020, showed that 56 per cent of respondents reported cycling more than before, and 62 per cent reported walking more than previously31.
In 2019, we noted the two factors that influence how walkable a place is: the walkability of the built environment and the amount of walking activity. Fine grain urban form and a mix of different land uses at the heart of neighbourhoods enhance walkability and the vitality of cities and centres. The speed and volume of vehicular traffic also shapes the walkability of a place. This is illustrated in Figure 16.
Recent data from pedestrian counts conducted by Liverpool and City of Sydney councils shows that walking in centres is significant and is an essential part of the viability of centres, and their retail and service offerings.
The annual Household Travel Survey measures the percentage of trips by walking as a proportion of total trips in Greater Sydney. Where last year we reported only walking trips, this year we have looked at the change in walking, including to another mode of travel (see Figure 17).
Only Eastern City and Central City districts show any increase, suggesting more needs to be done to improve the conditions for easier, more convenient and safer walking.
These statistics are reflected in the proportion of Greater Sydney’s residents who can access a centre within a 10-minute walk. In 2020, this was 34 per cent. The Eastern City District has a significantly higher proportion, at 63 per cent. The North and South districts have 35 per cent and 31 per cent respectively. In the Central City District, only 20 per cent of residents can access centres within 10 minutes’ walk, and in Western City District, it is just 18 per cent32.
Figure 16: Walking in the built environment33