Video: Increasing walking and cycling in NZ cities

Michael Keall and Ralph Chapman speak about our new study showing that the Model Communities Programme, which provided government funding for walking and cycling in two NZ cities, has been successful in stopping the general decline in healthy, active travel. Sarah Free discusses Wellington’s progress on cycling infrastructure.

Michael’s presentation (pdf)

Ralph’s presentation

Sarah’s presentation

The Model Communities Programme provided government funding for walking and cycling infrastructure and promotion in New Plymouth and Hastings. This was an opportunity for researchers to run an innovative series of surveys to estimate changes in walking and cycling in these two cities, compared to two other New Zealand cities that were not receiving the same programme. Michael and Ralph discuss results that showed a large and statistically significant increase in the proportion of trips that were made on foot and bike, indicating that the Model Communities Programme has been successful in stopping a general declining trend for healthy, active travel.

In 2014 Wellington City Council committed to a greatly increased annual expenditure of $4.3 million on cycling infrastructure. Since then NZTA and the government have become involved with promises of extra funding for high quality commuter cycleways. Sarah Free talks about progress to date: the successes, the pitfalls and the challenge to gain more widespread support for cycling infrastructure.


Dr Michael Keall
Injury epidemiologist in the Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington

Michael’s current research interests include exposure assessment for housing, roads and vehicles, and travel behaviour. He is a lead researcher in the MBIE-funded Resilient Urban Futures programme, in particular the ACTIVE study, an evaluation of cycling and walking infrastructure and encouragement in two local authorities.

Dr Ralph Chapman
Associate professor and director of the Graduate Programme in Environmental Studies, Victoria University of Wellington

Ralph is a member of the New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities and a researcher on the ACTIVE study. His interests centre on policies that address the problem of climate change, including housing, energy, transport, and urban policies. His work in New Zealand has mainly been with government agencies, and internationally with the OECD, for example in expert groups reviewing the environmental performance of various countries. He has worked for 25 years on climate change policy, including as a negotiator of the Kyoto Protocol for the New Zealand government.

Sarah Free
Wellington City Councillor

Sarah was elected in 2013 on a platform of improving community resilience, transport choices and supporting local businesses. She has campaigned on many transport-related matters including reduced bus fares, more bus shelters, better cycling infrastructure and measures to improve pedestrian safety. She is proud to have put the new Kilbirnie cycle/walkway on the table.

This event took place on Thursday 16th April 2015, noon – 1 pm, at Adam Auditorium, City Gallery, ground floor, Civic Square, 101 Wakefield St, Wellington.