POLICIES FOR PATHWAYS AND PEOPLE: SCALING UP THE REIMAGINE CATWALKS PROJECTCategory: 2019, Climate, Community Grant, Current, Grant
Sustainable Calgary’s publication Healthy Places: Designing for Health in Alberta summarizes the influence of the built environment on transportation choices, greenhouse gas, pollution and public health. They propose to influence pedestrian infrastructure policy, building on their Re-imagine Catwalks project. The intended impact is to mitigate climate change, decrease pollution and improve public health by increasing active transportation.
Re-imagine Catwalks emerged from Sustainable Calgary’s co-design work in Marlborough, funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada. Technically called “engineered walkways”, and colloquially referred to as “catwalks”, these pathways are designed to cut through the street grid of many Calgary communities. These often neglected spaces were identified as opportunities to encourage walking and cycling in Marlborough, if they were more safe, comfortable, and interesting. Currently, lighting and maintenance are the responsibility of adjacent neighbours.
The purpose of the proposed project is to scale up from temporary prototypes and conceptual design work, to create longer-term benefit for more Calgarians, through policy change.
Sustainable Calgary hopes to inspire a gradual overhaul of catwalks across the city, with consideration for how they connect to the greater pedestrian network. These changes will include the improvement of curb cuts, removal of maze gates, creation of pedestrian crossings adjacent to catwalks, addition of lighting, and public space activations.