Have you heard of WalkingMalta?
A Spaniard living in Malta took on the challenge of living a car-free lifestyle, which in turn created the WalkingMalta initiative to promote and discuss the possibilities of a more walkable country.
Back in 2013, Carlos Cañas arrived to Malta with a goal, to analyze and improve our walkability in our relatively small country. While conducting research at the University of Malta, as well as research campaigns for his doctoral research, he identified the major factors that may discourage walking in Malta and addresses them by sharing ideas within the WalkingMalta community.
His research was centered on the pedestrian, where by conducting questionnaires, Cañas identified the key factors that would appeal to pedestrians and urge more persons to walk as opposed to driving for short distances. In turn, the response to improve active travel in Malta was that many pedestrians prefer wider, cleaner pavements and more greenery on their walks. Also, pedestrians seem happiest walking when the walkway is a safe distance from traffic. With such adoptions Malta can also be on it's way to reach it's goal on active travel.
Various large cities or towns abroad have adopted a 15-minute city, where within the radius of a 15 minute walk, a pedestrian may find most everything they need, hence allowing for more walkability. In Malta this can also be explored given necessary planning, however there are still a small collection of towns that score quite low when it comes to providing walkable networks, with some narrow roads not having space to adopt a sidewalk. However, through adoption of a walkable city in Malta, it would allow developments to adhere to the needs and necessities for creating pedestrian networks which would allow more people to opt to walk instead of rely on a car.
Do you think Malta should aim to have walkable areas to allow more pedestrians to travel, and in turn diminish the need for cars? Join our conversation below and share your thoughts on how we can improve Malta's walkability!