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The Dutch city puts the focus on pedestrians with a new “walking agenda”
In the weeks after the coronavirus hit Europe, many people rediscovered walking. From an activity performed only for short distances and when necessary, for many people walking turned into a safe way to avoid crowds on public transport, but also – to compensate for the sedentary lifestyle, associated with working from home.
Having realised this new tendency, the Dutch municipality of Tilburg quickly resolved to adapt to the changed circumstances and make walking on its territory easier, safer and more attractive. This is why back in May the city approved a walking agenda.
Becoming a walking-friendly city
The new walking agenda of Tilburg for 2020-2023 gives a central place to the pedestrian, as was explained for the municipal website by Alderman Mario Jacobs, responsible for mobility. In the future, the citizens will discover the changes through wider and brighter walking areas and sidewalks, decorated with greenery and art, giving priority to pedestrians.
The 33-page long document has set some main principles, including that walking is for everyone and everyone should be able to use the infrastructure without hindrance, including people with reduced mobility, the visually impaired, the children or the elderly. Also, walking should be promoted together with cycling, public transport and road safety.
The Municipality has even launched a “Walking in the neighbourhood” mobile application (available on Google Play and the Apple app store under the name Wandelen in de wijk). It allows users to discover the city while strolling, by giving them information about the places that they walk by.
The Tilburg Walking Agenda is the city's first walking policy and one of the country's first visions for that sphere. It gives substance to the Charter for Walking that Tilburg and Eindhoven were the first to sign in 2017 and the Tilburg Mobility Approach 2040, in which the importance of walking was emphasized.
Finally, with this unambiguous and integrated vision, the authorities are enhancing their commitment to walking and are bringing more cohesion into it. Their ultimate goal: healthier and happier Tilburg residents.
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