Hīkoikoi me eke pahikara
Walking and Cycling
Being physically active is fundamental to our individual and collective wellbeing. Sport NZ’s Value of Sport research showed that by eliminating physical inactivity New Zealand could avoid 12.7% of all deaths.
As a society we’ve engineered physical activity out of our busy daily lives and now we’re experiencing the health and wellbeing impacts of this lack of activity. Walking and cycling is a key way of putting physical activity back into our everyday lives, improving our health, wellbeing and that of our environment.
Healthy Families Hutt Valley is working with Hutt City Council colleagues, transport and urban planners and communities to ensure we’re designing walking and cycling back into our lives, making it the easy and obvious choice for getting around our city.
The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) states that the benefits of cycling and improved walkability include more liveable towns and cities, stronger local economies, reduced costs for Councils (meaning less burden on rate payers), less impact on the environment and healthier and more productive people.
Why is this important?
- Just over half of adults in the Hutt Valley are physically active but 12% do little or no physical activity
- 74% of people in the Hutt Valley get to work by car and only 34% of children get to school using active modes of transport
- Across the Hutt Valley 81% of children watch more than the recommended two hours of screen time per day (excludes screen time for school or homework)
How we’re increasing walking & cycling opportunities
Shared pathways engagement – Hutt City Council is putting significant investment in shared pathways. NZTA research indicates that “around one in two cyclists state that the opening of new cycle ways and paths in their area have encouraged them to either start cycling, or to cycle more often.” By increasing the number of people cycling as well as how often they cycle we’re investing in the health and wellbeing of our communities.
NZTA data shows that more people are walking regularly for fun or fitness and to get to public transport, while walking to get from A to B is declining. Shared pathways are a way to entice our people to use walking as a preferred way of getting around in their daily lives.
Community engagement plays a vital role in the success of shared pathways, helping ensure that the designs and connections meet community needs and aspirations. Healthy Families Hutt Valley is working to connect Council and communities in a meaningful and enduring way around walking and cycling developments.
Street activations – We are working with communities at street level to build up a picture of what a playful, connected and active street should look like. We’ve chosen key streets in Taita, Wainuiomata and Naenae to start this process and are working with local organisations like Love Wainuiomata and Common Ground to make this happen.
Streets Alive – is an approach that provides a practical framework and indicators for design decisions for our streets and spaces. Streets Alive aims to put people (not profit or cars) at the centre of decisions around how our streets and public spaces are designed and used. Walking and cycling is a key element of Streets Alive. Enabling our people, especially children to move actively, independently and safely around our communities and wider city will help grow Lower Hutt as a place where we interact with our surroundings; we are active together and feel safer, healthier, happier and more engaged with our city.
What can you do?
- Think about the trips you make every day and what opportunities there are for you to bike or walk
- Follow the Bike Greater Welly Facebook page to see what cycling events are happening around the region you can get involved in
Imagine if walking and cycling became the transport mode of choice for Lower Hutt, creating healthier people and a healthier and more sustainable city.
Want to help?
Share your insights around walking & cycling.